Archive for Category ‘Teaching‘

A Simple Truth and Some Brotherly Love

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We are stressed over jobs, bills, laundry piles, and traffic. We are so focused on who is offending who, rising gas prices, and a bad economy. The ins and outs of life can be down right depressing and exhausting….and then you watch a video like this, and it reminds us of what is truly important in this life. I do believe that God sees how foolish and self absorbed we can all be, so he sends us angels to live on this earth to simply remind us of what is truly important in life. My friend posted this video to Facebook, and it just reminded me of how wonderful life really is.  Love and compassion are two simple truths we should all live by, and sometimes it takes two special children to remind us of that. I can honestly say I learned an awesome truth from a seven year old by watching this, that even the wisest of old men may not have been able to explain.  Makes me excited to see all of my sweet little students in a week!

Please click on the link below…you will be so happy you did:) It is only about ten minutes long.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7208128

Goodbye Summer

 Well, I have officially entered the last 12 hours of my summer vacation. I slept as late as I possibly could today (even though I wasn’t even tired) just because I know that sleep deprivation and high stress will set in in approximatley 2 weeks. While I am sad to see another summer go, I am excited to see all of my little munchkins walk into my classroom with their new backpacks, pencils, and sweet little smiles. I will continue to remind myself of this “love at first day of school” feeling when they raise their hand  shout out to inform me that their reading partner has punched them, or when they cry because they have apples for a snack when they would rather have their friend’s Cheetos.  I thought we could take a look at some beautiful, relaxing summer styled rooms before I officially say goodbye.  I may have to revisit this post often between now and next May:) Here are some of my favorites from Pinterest.

 Just makes me want to make a pina colada and read on the beach all day!

 Cozy little nook. I think I could sit here all day!

I could cozy up here after a day on the water.

Wood and bedding in this room…yum!:

 

 

 Goodbye summer…I will miss you so!

Falling for Fabrics

Some people love to browse shoes, some love to browse clothes….I love to browse fabrics. It is so much fun (and sometimes positively overwhelming) to walk into a giant fabric store and just imagine all of the ways that you could combine them and use them in your home.

On my way home from Publix, I noticed that Calico Corners had renovated their store, and I decided that I must cut across three lanes and almost cause an accident to pull into their parking lot. I thought they may have added some new fabric since their renovations, and I just had to see what was inside. I am a lover of soft, blue fabrics. I headed straight for the blue section, and I fell in love with several fabrics I came across. I love both modern and vintage patterns, and my favorite thing to do is to find ways to combine them. I did not have my camera with me, so I had to use my phone to take some pictures of the fabric (please excuse the quality of the pictures). Here are some of the beautiful, blue fabrics I saw (and dreamed of having in my home).

A shabby fabric that would look great with modern trellis.

I then found this blue trellis fabric that I thought paired well with the floral.  It looks gray in the picture, but it really is the blue color from the floral pattern.

Here they are together. I can imagine them in a little girl’s room or nursery with soft pink walls and vintage furniture. I think adding a soft neutral striped pattern into the mix would look great too:

I also loved this damask pattern. The fabric was nice and thick…and really expensive. A girl can dream:)

I always love a classic striped pattern, but I usually prefer a thin striped pattern rather than the big ol’ chunky stripes. I loved this particular pattern because it had small accents between the big stripes. It really helped tone the big stripes down. The color is so soft and calming. It reminds me of the beach.

 

The last one is another great floral pattern. I love rustic patterns with birds in them. This fabric has it all; soft colors, rustic bird theme, and nice texture.

So, if all you shoe and clothing browsers out there need a new browsing hobby, fabric might just do it for you!

Have a great weekend!

Lauren

Fun with Florals

If I could have my way, I would buy a new bouquet of fresh flowers for every vase in my house each week. My home would be filled with hydrangeas, peonies, and willow branches. That is what I had at my wedding, and I would just love it if I could have fresh arrangements in my home that looked like this all the time. Photography by Rebecca Davison Photography and Meg Doyle Photography of Jacksonville, Florida.

 

 

 

 Since keeping fresh arrangements like this in our homes would be outrageously expensive and a lot of work, we have to find alternatives to fresh flowers. I have been afraid of silk flowers for a long time. My mom has made some beautiful arrangements with them, but I have seen so many times where they look cheap and dated, even if they are on the nicer end. I have made a couple of arrangements using silk flowers lately, and I have learned that adding natural elements (sticks, willow branches, etc), can really help to make the silk flowers look more natural and up to date. Here are some examples:

This is the arrangement I made for my mom for her house.

 

This is the arrangement that I made for the front table at our beach house. I used silk hydrangeas, willow sticks, willow sticks with small white flowers on them, and dark brown cat tail accents. The vase was filled with moss:

I still have not ventured to use any silk florals in my home. I really love using natural, dried florals. I have used a lot of dried hydrangeas, willow branches, dried roses, seed balls, cotton and lavender, and even some feathers. Here are some examples:

The lavendar has a slight fragrance, and I love smelling it as I walk by.

These hydranges are on my kitchen table. They are dried.

Dried roses in the bathroom:

 Cotton in our bathroom at the beach:

Willow branches and feathers in our livint room:

 Seedball in our bedroom:

 Hydrangeas and branches in the basement:

 

 

 What kind of florals do you usually use in your home? I hope this post has given you some ideas!

Furniture For Sale!

I have a couple of pieces of furniture that don’t have a home. I just refinished this nightstand. It is in very good condition and very sturdy. Its body style is French Provincial. I used CoCo and Duck Egg Blue Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to refinish this piece. The drawers are deep and wide. The top is waxed to avoid cup rings, etc. Here are some pictures of the piece.

 

 I also have this sweet. purple cain back chair with a khaki and toile pattern. The seat is upholstered with a khaki cording. It then has an extra detachable cushion with a tufted center on the top of the upholstered seat. It also has a detachable back cushion in the same fabric with double tufting. It is sturdy and in great condition. Would be great as an accent chair or a desk chair.

Just shoot me an email or FB message if you are interested. Thanks for looking!

 

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: A Home Tour

Think about your very first home.  I am sure you have very great memories of the time you spent there. Maybe you did a lot of DIY projects there, or maybe it was the home that you came back to after you were married, maybe it is the place you brought your babies home to. First homes are like first loves…they will always be looked back on with fondness.

Jeff had our home for about 7 years before we got married. Once we got engaged, we did renovations on the main floor. It was so much fun to embark on this project together. A year later, we refinished the basement. I really enjoyed making this home our own and putting our own personal touches throughout the space. Those of you who love to decorate understand what it is like the first time you have a clean slate to make your own! Needless to say, a lot of time, money, and love has gone into making our house a home. That is why I wanted to do this post.

Jeff and I have decided that we are going to start looking for a new home in the suburbs north of us within the next couple of months. While I am very excited about this because our family lives there and we both work up there, I have to say that a part of me will be very sad when we do leave this home. Let’s face it…breaking up is hard to do.  It is a place that I will always cherish. Enjoy the tour of our labor of love!

We will start in the sunroom:

 This is the living room. It is one of my favorite rooms in the house:

This is the family room right next to the living room:

 

 This is the foyer right off of the family room. This is the area that go infested with mites that I had to redo. It is not finished yet. Planning to put a small shutter with a lighted sconce on it over the chair.

 

 We did not do a lot of renovations in the kitchen because we knew this house would eventually be a rental.

This is the dining room:

 Jeff used the first bedroom in the house for his office/shrine to University of Alabama footbal. The first time I walked in there I got sick to my stomach. Haven’t gone back in since. I have hidden some Gator parafanalia in the room that he has yet to find.

Here is the first guest bath/powder room:

This is the second bedroom:

 

The other guest bedroom:

 This is the bathroom that is connected to the guest room. This is also one of my favorite spots in the house!

 When we refinished the basement, we did not make any extra rooms. Our bedroom and bathroom had already been down there, so we kept that and just spruced up the other area. We use this area as a work space, extra storage, lounge area, and a workout area!  Here is a look at the main area:

 

 

 

The final area in the house is the master bedroom and bathroom, which are both located in the basement. We have more bathroom and closet space down here, so that is why we chose to have our room in the basement.

 

 

 Hope you enjoyed the tour! Thanks for stopping by!

Lauren

Pillow Talk

  I love throw pillows. I love them on chairs, beds, couches…just about anything you can put them on. I love how they can make a room feel warm, soft, and cozy in instant. When I got done with the new guest room, I felt like the bed still looked too naked. While at Homegoods, I found these two charcoal gray pillows that had tattered ruffles on them and a down insert for just 12.99 each! I thought they may help to tie the bed together. I usually have to let something new sit the way it is for a day before I can decide whether it looks right or not. After much rearranging, the pillows finally passed the test this morning!

This is the bed before:

  Then, I found the gray pillows at Homegoods and made this arrangement, but it still was not right:

  Still not exactly what I wanted. I felt like there needed to be some green in the front to break up the blue. I rearranged the pillows once more, and there it was! Here is the final outcome:

 

  Ahhh! Now it is nice, cozy and ready for a guest! Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Progress in the Foyer

  Since the mite infestation, I have been working diligently on repairing my foyer area. This means finding the right stuff and the right price. My first thoughts were to get a tall, wooden mirror to hang above the table, and a beautiful new lamp. Then, I found these fabulous shutters at Queen of Hearts, and my whole idea changed (and got a lot less expensive).  I decided to put the shutters on the table, and then nail a mirror onto it, which saved about 200.00 on the mirror purchase. I had also been looking at a large white, chippy vase at Pottery Barn, but couldn’t get myself to pay 100.00 for it. I found one that was the perfect size and design that I liked even better for 25.00 at Queen of Hearts as well. I filled it with some dried cotton and lavendar. It smells so good! I found the box and coral/shell at Homegoods. I have one last thing to do before I am done with this area. I decided to do something different than putting a new lamp on the table. I am going to find another smaller shutter pair to put above the chair, and then attach a one light, plug in sconce to the front of the shutters.  Here are some pictures of the progress so far!

  I also finally got my egg wall done in the guest room that I shared with you last Friday. I do love decorating with birds and nests, and I am so excited to have a bird nest and eggs WITHOUT mites in them:). Here is a look:

 

 

Stars and Stripes

 Happy Fourth of July (one day late)! I hope everyone is enjoying their time off celebrating our great nation. I am so grateful to live in the USA, and so appreciative of all those who fight for our freedom. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 My husband and I went to the beach last weekend to celebrate the fourth with some of our friends. I took some pictures of our bathroom because I noticed that it has a “stars and stripes” type theme, just with navy and yellow instead of red, white, and blue. Here are some pictures of the bathroom.

 

  

 I got the striped towels, bath rugs, and toothbrush holders from West Elm. They have a ton of great striped throws, shower curtains, and bath towels for the summer. They will even monogram the towels for you for just 6.00 extra. The clam shell is from Z Gallerie, and the vase is from Pottery Barn. I found the shower curtain and the hooked wooden towel rack on Etsy. The other little accessories are from Homegoods and the antique store. We also got new lighting, faucets, and towel racks for the bathroom as everything was chrome when we first moved in. The vanity lighting is from Nuvo, and the light in the shower area is from Cabelas. All the new lighting together only cost a total of about 180.00. The faucets are Moen from Home Depot. I also changed the hardware to these round jute knobs that I found at Hobby Lobby for 2.99 each.

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

A Whole New (Old) Look!

 I have been so excited about this bedroom change in our home. I always like the back guest bedroom, but something about it felt too country and dated to me. I wanted an updated, yet still vintage look. I also wanted more patterns and color. Here is what the room looked like before:

  How many of you love Anthropologie? Now, how many of you love the prices in Anthropologie? Neither do I! Everytime I go in there I leave feeling a little sad because I love everything so much and can only buy one tiny candle for 50.00. A tip that I have learned while decorating our house is to splurge on the focal points. The quilt in this room is something that  I splurged on at Anthro. I did not want to get rid of it because I love it so much and it was pricey, so I worked it into the new room. It is amazing how one quilt can have two totally different looks in one room. The other piece in here that I have had forever is the blue armoire, however it was not always blue. It used to be just sitting in the basement in an ugly brown stain. I painted it for the beach, but we ended up not having the right spot for it. So, we brought it home for this room and I love it! I just finished the room this morning, and wanted to share some pictures. The only thing I am waiting on are some more egg print pictures so that I can take up the whole side of the wall with a framed egg print collage. I am going to detail where I found everything in case something catches your eye! Here is the reveal!

 

 

These are the prints that I am going to order more of. It will be a total of 9 framed prints.My favorite thing in the room!

 

My favorite thing in the room!

 

Here is a list of where I found most of the pieces!
1) Ikat fabric is Robert Allen Khanjali Glacial. I found it online at Mary Jo’s Cloth store. It was for the amazing price of 12.95 a yard! That is about half of price of everywhere else I looked.
2) I hade the curtains and pillows made by JoAnn from Simply Divine Designs of Etsy. She did a fabulous job! Here is the link to her store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/simplydivinebyjoann?ref=seller_info
3) The bottles on top of the armoire, the picture over the bed, the floral candelabra, and the small teal table by the chair are all from Queen of Hearts in Alpharetta. I got the floral print framed at Hobby Lobby.
4) The floor lamp is from Amazon.com.
5) Driftwood is from Z Gallerie, and the bronze tub is from my mom:) Thanks mom!
6) The egg prints are from a great little shop on Etsy. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Architiques9890
7) The striped duvet and shams are from Pottery Barn.
8) The glass lamp is also from PB. I found the manilla rope at Ace Hardware and put it inside.
8) The linen skirt over the ottoman was also purchased from a store on Etsy. I have an old Gator cube from college, and just covered it with the skirt! I love this shop! It is called Ruffled Linens. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ruffledlinens?ref=seller_info
I think that covers everything! Thanks for looking, and have a great weekend!