Sunday, May 29, 2016

DIY Magnetic Board

I was over at a friend's house a few months back and noticed a magnetic board she had in her kid's playroom that looked "unique." I asked her where she got it from and she said she bought the board at was actually an oil-drip pan. She got the idea while searching online one day and I thought it was pretty neat so I went in search of one shortly after our play date.
To my surprise, the oil drip pan I saw for sale was quite larger than what I was looking for and the cost was about $15. I knew there had to be a smaller option out there somewhere for less money! So I was on the hunt for one.
After looking around at various places and not finding anything, I decided to search online. 
I found a blog post from a lady who used a galvanized metal sheet as a magnetic board and she paid less than $10 for hers. 
You can guess that I decided to go with that idea instead of using the oil-drip pan- and for $9 at Lowe's, yes please!

(Note: There are 2 different sizes that you can buy at the store. I chose to go with the larger size because I wanted the magnetic board to fit the areas between the DIY fireplace I made for my girls).

Also, something else to note- the edges are a bit sharp on this thing, but once it was up on the wall, that wasn't a problem because the sheet is very thin and it, in a sense, blended in with the wall. However, I do plan on adding some kind of decorative piece to the sides, like ribbon, to help with that.

I used a few nails to hang it up. Easy-peasy!

Cute little stinker (pictured above, in case you missed him) likes to make his way over to this area- thinking I won't catch him. ;) Silly boy! 

Now my girls finally have a place to put all of their magnets instead of leaving a trail of them all over the house! Hallelujah!! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dining Room Refresh

Ever since painting the main part of our home in BM's Gray Owl, our dining room felt a bit out of place. 
The color we painted the dining room (before painting the rest of the house) was a bolder color called Intellectual Gray by SW. It's actually one of Joanna Gaines' favorite I figured I would give it a try (we also used it in our master bedroom and liked it). 
It usually reads as a dark muted gray, but because of the lighting in our dining room, it read more as a dark green/sage- which wasn't the color I was hoping for in that space. Intellectual Gray does have a slight green tint to it, but depending on lighting and how you decorate a room, the green undertone can be more obvious- which was the case for our dining room. Undertones in colors can be so tricky sometimes!!

After living with that color on the walls for almost 2 years, I thought it was time for a change. I had been eyeing a beautiful light blue/gray color from Benjamin Moore called Wickham Gray for a while. It's a gorgeous color you guys! 
So I went ahead and purchased a gallon (which I had mixed at Lowe's) and used it not only in our dining room, but also our guest room. Thankfully one gallon was all I needed for both spaces! 

With all the rain we have been having, painting during the weekend was pretty easy.

And our buffet table will go right under the two B/W photos of the girls- which means, yes, I did some rearranging in here as well. :)

Here is a shot of what the older color looked like.

Intellectual Gray doesn't look too bad standing alone, but it did not flow well with the rest of the houses colors- and I wanted that.

And now we finally have better flow between the adjoining rooms and a much lighter and brighter space!

As an aside, I highly recommend both BM's Gray Owl and Wickham Gray. I'm sure there are plenty of photos online you can look through to see how beautiful these colors really are. They are worth a try if you are looking to brighten and update a space.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Taking the Time

I haven't always been consistent with it. 

It's been a struggle over the years trying to figure out where it fit in with my day to day life. 


Setting aside time in my day to read the Word hasn't always been at the top of my to-do-list...although it always should be. 

I'm making a strong effort to read a few chapters each day, right now from various places, and I'm also praying about how I can apply whatever I'm reading to my particular season of life.

What I have come to realize is that if I can give myself 30 minutes (sometimes more) to sit and read and reflect on God's Word and in prayer, I feel much better about the day. I think that is what a lot of people say, but there is truth to that.

It has been hard setting aside this time to read and getting into a consistent rhythm with it all while having three kids under 5 who need my attention each day, but what has helped is setting aside some time during my son's nap-time to read. My older girls get their time to themselves to do anything like read, watch TV, and/or play so that I can just sit and reflect on scripture. It's a good thing for them to observe.
Sometimes I can even get my girls to sit and read a few verses from the Bible with me (although that's a rare occasion).

I'm not sure why I use to feel guilty about doing that. I guess it was because I use to think that every waking moment had to be spent with my kids. And trust me, I do spend a lot of time with them...but God was making it clear to me that I needed time with Him also.

But I'm going to make it a point to set aside this much needed time- usually this happens in the afternoons- but it can happen anytime really. 


And in other news, recently some baby birds hatched from their eggs in our azalea tree. When I snapped this photo of them, one of them was reaching up waiting for momma bird to come back with food. I don't know if this is a far stretch, but after seeing this photo, it reminded me of Matthew 6:25-34.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Note for Mother's Day

Since tomorrow is Mother's Day, I thought I would write a blog post about it. I wasn't really sure of what to write about so I figured I would start with what we did yesterday to kick off the weekend.

To start off the Mother's day weekend, I got to spend some time at my daughter's school on Friday where we had a mother/daughter tea party. The class sang some lovely songs to honor all of the moms in attendance and it was sweet to be a part of that. My sweet girl had such a grin on her face and was very proud of herself for singing in front of a group of people. This also made me very happy and proud. All the moms received some decorated cookies, some artwork, and flowers. This is the first time my daughter has actually prepared something on her own for me to celebrate this holiday and it moved me that the week before she couldn't help but talk about our mother/daughter tea party and the crafts she made for me. It was a proud mommy moment and I'm certain all moms have had their share of those moments.
Here is my daughter with the hand-made craft she created at school for me (don't mind the fact that she has a mouthful of watermelon and is hiding that juicy smile behind her creation)  :)

She also put together some beautiful flowers for me and painted the flower pot. She was very excited about it and I'm just hoping I can keep these flowers alive for more than a couple of days!!

And then I got to read her answers to questions she got asked about me. 
If you have time, you should read the answers too. ;)

Wait...did you just read the part where is says, "My mom is 143 years old?!" Yep...that's what I read too! Clearly, we have some things to talk about. ;)
I also found it quite humorous that she put down that I love to cook "spicy stuff." That couldn't be farther from the truth, folks! My husband loves spicy food, but I surely don't cook that way. :) Maybe she was referring to these cookies we recently made together.
It was all sweet nonetheless and we will definitely be saving this one for the future. 

It's also no surprise that my kids love to color, paint, and draw. That is why I started leaving out a container of crayons on our kitchen table. It makes the perfect centerpiece and the perfect spot for them to grab some crayons when they get the creative urge. It makes momma happy and I encourage you to consider doing this too if your kids like to create things!

I am very thankful God has blessed me with 3 beautiful, caring, and loving children. They are a very important part of my life and I feel truly grateful to be their mom! 

And I will add a few more things here. I have read many blogs about the challenges of motherhood...and yes, it is difficult and challenging at times. But on the other hand, I think we all know what a gift it is as well. Just the other day, I was telling my husband how exhausting this whole being a mommy thing is and how it can also be very stressful at times- every mom knows that, especially when you are in the thick of it all. I never want to downplay that...but in those moments, I have to take a step back and realize my children are gifts. They are blessings from my Heavenly Father. He has entrusted me as their mother and I am thankful that I can celebrate another Mother's Day with them and my family. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. May you feel loved and appreciated!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Changing Up the Gallery Wall

There are so many ways that you can show case your family memories throughout your home. 
I've said it before and I will say it again- one of my favorite ways to do so is by creating at least one gallery wall in your home. And you can pretty much put one up anywhere. Our living room was one of the first places we put a gallery wall up and recently I decided to change it up a bit.

We started with a blank slate after we moved in: 

After going back and forth about what to put up on the upper part of that wall you see pictured, I decided the easiest thing to do was paint the walls a khaki/beige/green color I mixed together. Then I decided this would make a perfect spot for a gallery wall so I added a few photos we already had (I really didn't want to buy more frames either, so we worked with what we had).
But I always thought the pictures looked a little too small for the space because that wall is so long. So I had kept it in the back of my mind that it would probably be changing at some point so we could add more photos to the mix.


And then my parents visited a few weeks ago.
And guess what?!

They brought with them a large plastic tub filled with older photos that were placed in these nice wooden frames....and a light bulb went off!
I thought, "these will be perfect to use for our new gallery wall!"

So I laid out how I wanted the pictures to look by placing the frames on the floor. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I went ahead and nailed each frame up on the wall...and this time, I decided to go with the "Go big or go home" approach by adding a lot more photos. 
Boy am I happy I did!

I think it turned out much better than I imagined and we like it much more now that we can see more personal photos of our family. I also feel that by adding more pictures, the wall space was better utilized. Plus, this will allow me to switch out pictures easily as the kids get older and we have more photos to add.
I also wanted to note that I mixed the colors of my frames up a bit- going with brown, white, and black. It keeps things from looking too matchy-matchy (something I'm not always a fan of in decorating).

How do you hang pictures in your home? Are you a fan of the bigger gallery walls like I am?