Monday, April 21, 2014

ENCOURAGE | Loving the Life I Live

 
 
My husband and I never planned four kids. Really, we didn't PLAN kids at all...they just came into our lives.
As I look back and reflect on that today...I wouldn't have it any other way. As frustrating and trying as they can be. These kids of ours bless me and I am SO proud to be their mama.

 
 
Hi Friends!
 
This is a pic that I took on Easter Sunday of my kids and a family friend of ours.
I didn't take a lot of pictures that day and it was honestly one of the most laid back and uncommon Easter holidays we've had in years.
 
When I was growing up Easter represented a lot of things.
Easter bunnies and baskets.
Dresses and hats.
Shopping for your Sunday's best weeks before the day even arrived.
Time with family and friends.
Church all day.
And a TON of good food. A TON.
 
Why is it that as you grow, sometimes those things that meant SO much to you or that you looked so forward to as a child just don't seem to have the same appeal?
 
I think I have just a little bit of insight on that thought although not completely figured out.
 
As a child, you have absolutely no cares.
No bills.
No real obligations.
You are free.
 
When you are an adult, well, you have a choice but most of us get bogged down by the weight that comes along with life in general.
We tend to care a lot about everything, even those things that we shouldn't.
We worry about bills and commit to things that we should never commit to.
We, unfortunately, aren't all that free.
 
 
This past Sunday, I watched as my kids ran around the house just excited to be alive and finding out that we were dressing the house and having an egg hunt after church was just the icing on the cake.
They didn't need that to be happy but it sure made their lives that much more rich.
They were {and are always} in love with life.
 
As I watched them, I thought about my life.
My responses...
My reactions...
To circumstances.
 
I thought about how God reminds us in Matthew 6:25:
"...Do not be worried about the food and drink you need to stay alive or about the clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds flying around: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest, and put it in barns, your Father in Heaven takes care of them. "
 
And I realized that most of the time when I am not enjoying my life, it's because I am worrying about this life.
 
It's when I am allowing fear to control me and anxiety to seep in that I am the most out of control and simply not enjoying the LIFE that God has blessed me with.
 
We have so many wonderful things in life to enjoy.
Our kids.
Our family.
Our friends.
Our city.
Laughs.
Grins and smiles.
Hot mugs of coffee.
Fuzzy headed little toddlers.
Hands to hold.
Bellies to tickle.
 
The list goes on. We are blessed. Period.
 
When we shift our focus to what we have {all the things listed above and so much more} from what we don't have, the world's cares and concerns seem to get smaller and smaller.
 
Somebody out there will read this and need this...just like me.
 
Can we do this together?
 
Can we agree to concentrate on the little things in life that bless us?
The little things that make us who we are and unknowingly bless others?
Can we agree, together, that we are committed to love the life we live and trust the One who holds these lives of ours?
 
Love you all so much!
Have an amazing week!
 
 
 
Living and loving life and journeying right along with you,
 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Motivated Monday | Minnow Trap Floral Arrangment | A Few Tips

 
 
Flowers. I can't really say this is a new obsession. I guess I really shouldn't call it an obsession at all.
Without getting all artistically awkward and weird on you all, I'll just say that I really, super duper appreciate them. And...we'll leave it at that.
But, I mean, who wouldn't be? Obsessed, that is.
 
Flowers are some of God's most beautiful creations on the planet and it's easy to become enthralled with how beautifully created they are.
 
If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the sneak peek of what was to become an arrangement for a project I was involved in this weekend. I couldn't decorate the space given the budget and time but I knew that I had to do something more than just coordinate the grub.
 
I thought adding a fresh floral arrangement as a centerpiece for the food table would be the perfect way to add personality without breaking the budget.
 
When thinking of what I wanted the centerpiece to look like for this event I just knew I would have to use fresh flowers and because I like a challenge just hours before my commitment, I decided no old vase would do.
 
I searched around the house for a bit and decided to venture out to our garage...my den.
 
By now, you guys are probably thinking our garage is chock full of goodies and junk and well, it kinda is.
 
Maybe I will have to give you a tour one of these days!
 
Anyhow, I had a few minnow traps that I'd ordered from Ebay a while back to turn into lighting and decided to figure out a way to turn this...
 
 
 
 
 
Into this...
 
 
 
 
If you'd like to give this a try you really only need a few simple items:
  • Minnow Trap (preferably vintage, more character)
  • Spanish Moss
  • Sheet Moss
  • Small jelly/canning jar (optional)
  • Wet floral foam
  • Floral Waterpicks (1-2 pkgs.)
  • Floral Picks
  • Fresh Flowers, carefully curated ( I purchased mine at a local grocer)
  • Scissors
This may seem like a lot of items to you but over half can be purchased at your local craft store. I purchased mine from Michael's.
 
 
I'd love to make this an easy 1-2-3 tutorial but it's really not. That's not to say it's hard because it's not...trust me. Lots of this just involves being creative and visualizing what you want them to look the final piece to look like.  I pretty much made it up as I went along.
Here is a quick snippet of the first few steps to get you started.
 
 TIPS FOR ACHIEVING THIS LOOK:
1. Cut your sheet moss to size and wrap around interior of trap or other container.
 
2. Fill the trap with Spanish moss from the bottom up the side about 2 in.
This is so that you don't have to use so much of the wet foam in the next step.
 
3. Cut WET FOAM into wedges and customized shape to fill the inside of the container. Be sure to saturate foam before placing inside.
 
4. Trim flowers. You will want to be sure that all of your flowers are trimmed and ready to go. You will also trim as you go depending on the varying heights you'd like your arrangement to have.
 
5. Use water picks for fragile stems. As you can see, I used a few poppy's in this arrangement and their stems are extremely fragile. I used water picks and floral wire  {purchased at Michael's as well} to secure the stem into the foam. For some of the more firm stems, this step was eliminated.
 
6. Arrange stems according to various color, texture and height.
 
7. Have fun with it!  
 
As weird as it may sound...I envisioned a small forest with grassy patches and moss and flowers spread naturally across the landscape.  I know...sounds all fantasy like. But, that was my inspiration that took me exactly where I wanted to go with this.
Your vision, of course, can be anything that inspires you!
 
This was my first REAL arrangement and I was SO afraid of starting it but I took a deep breathe and leaned in. It was SO much fun making it and I think I am officially addicted to creating them.
 
If you're wondering...you don't have to have a local farmers' market or floral market to get unique, fresh flowers. These were purchased from our local QFC, an equivalent to Kroger, for less than 20.00 for 5 bundles. Yep. Made out like a bandit.

 
I really hope you guys enjoyed these tips and inspirational pics.
 
I also pray your Easter weekend was amazing.
 
Ours wasn't the typical but who wants to live a typical life anyhow, right?
 
Happy Monday and enjoy the pics!


 
 
 



XO,
 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Inspired | The Beginning of a Collection {Oh No!}

Yesterday the littlest and I took a quick trip to one of my favorite antique galleries in the area, Pacific Galleries. I wish I had pics to show you guys but my phone gave up on me and my Canon was at home. So, guess that just means I will have to take another trip for a virtual tour. Darn it.
 
If you're local to the Puget Sound area it's a must-shop for just about anyone who either wants to be inspired to decorate their own home or find that unique piece to finish off a space.
 
Lately, I've had my heart set on a wall of vintage shoe lasts. You know, those wooden forms that were used by cobblers back in the day to make shoes.


 
I only have three lasts for now but I figured that's enough to get the ball rolling, two of which are pictured here.
 
 
 
 
Isn't that little toddler one just too cute?
How could you NOT fall in love with these things?
It may sound silly but I just love them and think that they are like little wooden works of art.
 
If you're like me and have a new found "love for lasts", you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50 for a single or a pair of these beauties! I'd say that's not too shabby.
 
Now, to find the perfect wall to display them in all their patina, chippy, worn goodness.
 
I hope you all are preparing for a wonderful fun-filled Easter weekend with the ones you love most!
 
Until next week, XO...


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Neutrals & Mixing It Up | Why They Work {For Me}

Neutrals | Dining

Neutrals | Dining by menmyhouse featuring an iron sculpture

First of all, I must say...I am QUITE addicted....um, in love with Polyvore.
If you love all things décor and can't stop creating then I suggest you check it out. They really do make it fun to plan a room or just flat out have fun with those ideas floating around in your head.

Take, for example, the above image.

I created this set a couple of days back. The inspiration was a new dining space, in our new house, with new stuff.
Hey, I can dream...and when DO move into our new home...this room will be m inspiration.

I say this all the time...I am in love with NEUTRALS.

No matter how hard I try to steer away, it's like a woobie...I always go back.

This concept actually started a few weeks ago now that I think of it.

The hubs and I took a trip to IKEA with the kids and I walked by a pair of Lucite chairs. I was instantly inspired by them and thought to myself that I'd love the challenge of using them in our décor especially since my style is typically the total opposite of what these sleek chairs seem to offer.

I love the clean look of the chairs and because they are "clear", they add a sense of openness to just about any space but especially a small one.

I particularly enjoy mixing things up when it comes to decorating and this set was no different.

For me, a room must have:
Something quirky.
Something antique or vintage.
Lots of texture and movement.
Something chippy.
Something shiny or a metal.
Natural wood or other natural elements.

I think this room has all of that and then some.

So, why do neutrals work for me?

Well, I think neutrals offer the opportunity to layer and add color at any point in time. I just love having the freedom of knowing that if I wanted, I could add a throw pillow or change a rug out if I need a dose of temporary color. Although, I must admit., the thought of adding a lot of color makes my heart race. Weird, I know.

I also love the calming effect of neutrals in a space and how it seems to open up small quarters. With four little ones running around we need all the calm and open spaces we can get!

So, that's my take on it.

What are your thoughts? Are you into neutrals as well or do you dream in color?

Happy Thursdsay, friends!

XO
Kennesha



 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Create | Natural Whimsy

Happy Wednesday Peeps! 


I've had the pleasure of overseeing décor for our church's local MOPS group this year and it's been such fun to have a creative outlet that allows me to express my passion for creating and inspiring others in such a way.
 
I decided early on that instead of changing out the décor for each meeting that I would stick to quarterly changes. It was just easier on the budget for the group and easier on my time budget as well. {probably stress level as well if I'm being real}
 
Anyhow, this season begged for color as Spring normally does but if you know me, you know color isn't something that comes naturally to me or calls to me sooo...I thought about it. For a while. And after that, I thought some more.
 
Come on, tell me I am not THE ONLY ONE who works BEST under pressure? What's up with that? Well, I digress...more about that in another post perhaps.
 
Inspiration finally hit me and I decided I wanted to mix a little bit of natural with a little bit of whimsy and this is what came of it...

 
I absolutely enjoy and love being inspired to empower and encourage. The paper banner above reads "Beautiful in Every Season...". When thinking of the theme for this décor set, I really felt impressed by God to let his girls know {and remind myself} that no matter what it may FEEL like, we are called for THIS SEASON of our lives.
 
Yes, the dirty diapers, the soccer games, the tantrums and fits, the hard preteen and teenage years. All of it. We are called and appointed to DO IT by His grace.
 
Each centerpiece reads differently. From "Beautiful in this Season.." to "Joyful..." to "Called...".
 
It is SO good to know that we don't have to do this life alone and that there is a Creator who inspires and empowers us all to live a great, big, wonderful life. True story. Haha!
 
 
 
Now, don't let the pic fool you. This IS super cute and I do love how it turned out but I must admit making those medallions is NO JOKE and that pot had me stumped for a day.
 
Getting those lines straight took a little bit of a team effort in the brainstorming arena and the medallions came by the help of a friend who successfully helped me fold all that gorgeous paper.
 
Needless to say, I think it was all worth it. What do you think?
 
And because I found few tutorials on medallions {the easy way} and how to colorblock a tapered clay pot, I will be adding those to the tutorial arsenal here on RHI next week so stay tuned!
 
Until then, enjoy the pics!
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feeling inspired? I sure hope so!
Until next time...
 
 
 
 
XO,
 
 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Motivated Mondays | A Quick Update with Simple Greenery


Hey guys!
 
I'm back...again! It feels so good to be sharing with you again and I am right at home here...right where I belong!

I will have to post details about our current living status another day but most of you know that we have been in a rental for almost three years now.

A few months back, our former landlord sold the home "under the table" to the current owners. We knew that it was all happening so it was totally fine. About a month after the new owners purchased the house, we received word that they would like us to be all packed up and shipped out by the end of June.

I finally relinquished my desire to really change this house or add ANY of our personality to it.

After a few weeks, I realized I just felt so down...dreary...yucky.

I realized that I needed to create so I pulled out my pin and paper and all of my goodies from the stash I've collected over time in our garage and just decided I am going to make the most of this space until the very end. Guess you could say I'm challenging myself to FINISH STRONG. Ha!

Anyhow, there is a desk to the left of our entry that just bugs me. I've done a few things with the wall above it since we've been here and then decided I hate the desk there but there really isn't another place for it right now so what's a girl to do?
 
I decided to get motivated and play around with some things. Here is a "before" pic of the space. Pretty blah.
 
 
 
I picked up some planters last week from the shoppe where my paint workshops are held. If you're local and haven't checked out HC Home in Snohomish (Sister store to Haley's Cottage in Kirkland) then you need to. It's well worth the trip! You can register for classes and see more of HC home on their site by clicking here.



 
I just love the European feel of these planters and knew I'd use them somewhere. The desk seemed to be the perfect place.
 
I haven't purchased a ton of stuff for the house. We are in desperate need of lots of things from a dining table and chairs to additional seating.
 
I'm deciding to make the most of what I already have to keep the house refreshed and feeling like a home, our home, until the we leave.
 
 
The motivation to start this little refresh started at the grocery story last night when I needed to make  a last-minute run.
 
Am I the only one who can't walk into any store that sells fresh greenery and florals without stopping to see what's new? I especially love hidden gems. Unexpected places to find things like that. For me, it was Fred Meyer. I seriously love their floral section. They always have BOGO and the prices are already super low for bundles.
 
Anyhow, I digress...
 
I picked up a bunch of the greens for only 5.99. I took a bit of floral foam and packed it into the planters after saturating it with water and began to place the greens. I'd love to say it was strategic but it wasn't. I just stuck them wherever I felt needed until it each planter looked full.
 

 
I love neutrals. Love them. And as much as I can admire color in a home...I always go back to my neutrals.
 
My easy addition of color or movement in a space always comes in the form of texture or flowers of some sort.

 
 
I didn't spend a ton of timing placing things here and really didn't want to. The whole point was to use what I have and use it quickly.
 
 
I took some of the throw pillows that were on our sofa from the winter and placed them in the chair you see pictured above and staged the pic just a bit with a magazine and a few other small things just so the desk didn't seem so empty.
 
If I had all day to play I would add a pouf or ottoman of some sort in a fun pattern, add some decorative pattern to the lampshade (that's a DIY project for later) or add a new lampshade altogether and add more to the middle of the desk.
 
 
 
Given that from start to finish this little addition of a small vignette, greenery and wall décor only took me about 20 mins. I'd say I'm pretty pleased with the way it looks.
 
 
 
 
 
Restoration is more than just furniture. It's breathing life into everything and giving your home purpose again. From the details of your life...to the details of your home.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Glad to be bringing restoration again. And sharing with all of you.
 
 
So, what do you think? Do you have a space in your place that you're just OVER? Take the 20 minute challenge, pull some items from closets and rooms in your place and have fun redesigning and breathing life back into your home!
 
 
 
XO,

 
SOURCES
Frames | Target
Lamp | Marshall's
Zebra print pillow | Pottery Barn
Faux Fur Pillow | Restoration Hardware
Vintage Clock and Silver Platter Resin Antlers | My Sweet Savannah
Planters | HC Home, Snohomish WA
Metal Letter | Anthropologie
Plaque Antlers | Restoration House DIY


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Inspire Me Monday
Savvy Southern Style
DIY Showoff

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Being Better | An Update on Life and Why I'm Still a Blogger





Hi Friends!

Long time...I know.
 
If it's been a while since you visited this place, you may want to read the previous post to catch up on the details of why it's been such a long time since I've been here.
 
As most of you know, I lost my mama in Decemeber and the past few months have been some of the most emotionally and well, sometimes physically challenging times of my life.
 
I thought it would only be proper for me to update you all on my life and current happenings.
 
It's been quite the ride.
 
I've gone from not even feeling like getting out of bed just a couple of months back to feeling revived, refreshed and a bit more of myself.
 
At one point I didn't want to touch a magazine. I wasn't inspired by much of anything. There was no antique shopping or even a thought about design or décor. The life had truly been sucked out of me.
 
I went back and forth in my mind and questioned lots of things about where I wanted to take the business and how I wanted to move forward with life in general in this season. How could I even go on?
 
For those of you who have lost a parent or someone like a parent, you can surely relate to what I am saying.
 
In all of this...every moment, whether good or bad, God has remained consistent in His faithfulness to me and my family and I am SO thankful for the prayers, thoughts and comments many of you have sent my way. I really, really do appreciate it.
 
I won't say that I am 100% by any means but a few weeks ago I was thumbing through my Instagram account and stopped to look at Holly Mathis's feed and it was like I'd been hit by something so powerful...I couldn't really explain it nor could I completely understand it at that time. I just knew that I felt...different. Alive. Life had color again.
 
Throughout that week I began to dream again about my creative business. I thought about all the fun connections I could make and what I could do to make things more fun around here for all of you and in the back of my head I thought...I HAVE to email Holly to tell her what happened and how she played such an instrumental role in my...revival...my restoration.
 
A week passed by and I finally sat down at my computer to send her a quick message. I prayed that she would get it...we are all inundated with so many messages and emails I know it's hard sometimes to filter through it all.
 
After just a couple of days I heard back from her and my thoughts were confirmed. She was indeed one of the sweetest, most affirming, friendly, loving...well, I could go on and on but you get it. You know those people that you just meet and you don't really know what it is but you just know there is something pretty darn special about them? Well, that is Holly.
 
That day that I was scrolling through my feed I believe God used her gifts to remind me of the ones that He gave me. He reminded me that day that I wasn't dead. That my dreams aren't dead. They are alive indeed. And that day...He breathed life back into my dreams again through Holly.
 
Now, I don't mean to sound all weird and kooky but I know that God uses people and that day, for me, it was her.
 
Anyhow, things are better. So much better.  Everyday that I live is one that I have to be thankful for the time I had with my mom and appreciate all the wonderful gifts that she left with me. She was one amazing woman and I cannot wait to continue sharing my gifts with all of you lovelies.

I sure hope you're having an amazing Sunday!


XO


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mama and The King | A Story of Release


 
 
 
 
JUST BEGIN
 
The cursor blinked for what seemed like days as I built up the courage to begin.
I couldn't believe that I was writing about this. This was indeed my story. My life. My journey.
 
It started that day. That day changed my life. Forever.
 
This isn't a story of loss even though there was loss.
This isn't a story of tears although many were shed.
This isn't a story of bravery, courage or strength while much of that was mustered.
 
This is a story of redemption and release.
 
For those of you who don't know the story, I will begin with December 21, 2013.
 
 
THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED. FOREVER.
 
This was the day that my family and I packed the last piece of luggage and headed to the South for Christmas vacation. It had been years since all of us were together with all of our kids and it was time that I looked forward to. I'd planned meetups in Atlanta and Alabama with some blogger friends as well as some time with lifetime friends from high school.
 
The kids, as well as Larry and I, looked forward to days filled with laughter and memories of years ago with cousins, aunts and uncles and after Larry's recent workload, it would be a much needed break from the monotony of office work and deadlines for him.
 
I looked forward to Southern food made just like my "Memaw" used to make and laughs about who would fall asleep on the sofa first after partaking of just a little too much of the pies and pound cakes that seemed to last for days.
 
Those thoughts achieved DREAM STATUS ONLY on December 22.
 
It was a pretty normal Sunday morning although we were exhausted from the previous day's traveling, we were pumped to finally be with family and the kids were overjoyed to finally get to spend time at my aunt's house. We looked forward to spending time with their cousins in Alabama in a couple of days too.
 
Grayson, our youngest, was extremely tired though and I felt horrible waking him, so I encouraged the hubs to just take the older kids to church and I would stay behind with the baby so that he could get rest. I just didn't want to "pay" for his lack of sleep later on in the day and to be honest, I was completely exhausted myself.
 
I'd just finished up breakfast for Grayson when I heard the front door open all the kids bustle their way back into the house.
 
It was Larry. With a confused look on my face I asked why he was back so quickly. He responded by telling me that the drive to the church was much longer than expected. As the kids retreated to what they had deemed as their downstairs play area, he walked toward me and said, "Honey, I have some really bad news..." .
 
At that moment, I had no idea what it could be but the thoughts reeked havoc in my brain.  Had something happened to one of the kids? My aunts? A cousin? His family?
 
He continued, "...your mom died this morning."
 
"Dear God, did I just hear him correctly? He didn't REALLY just say MY mama."
 
But, he did.
 
The confusion, the pain, the sorrow...they all rushed in.
 
It felt like all the blood left my body and I couldn't even hold myself up anymore. I collapsed. Right there on the floor, Right there in his arms.
 
He held me as I sobbed for what seemed like eternity. "Someone please make it stop", I thought.
 
After finally feeling all the blood rush back into my legs I managed to pick myself up and walk up  the stairs and to the bedroom. And there I laid, balled up for a couple of hours.
 
The tears fell. The memories flashed. The enemy worked in my thoughts.
 
There were moments of quiet, when I thought that things were back to normal.
Moments when my brain literally checked out of reality and into fantasy.
 
"She's not dead. She is alive.", I thought. "Wait, what...?"
 
I heard a confirming and comforting voice, "She IS alive...with Me."
 
I knew it was the voice of the Lord but honestly that truth, in that moment, didn't lessen the blow. His truth didn't make the reality of my pain hurt any less. This was real. This was happening. Just a few days before Christmas.
 
 
 
 
 
HER LIFE | HIS WAY
 
Well, this isn't really her story but it is a recap of what landed my mother in full-time, round-the-clock care for over ten years.
 
My mother suffered a massive stroke in the late summer of 2000. After years of poor diet, broken hearts and dreams and a not so healthy lifestyle...it happened.
 
I was devastated but encouraged. I knew my mother. Mostly because I was just like her.
 
Strong, resilient...a fighter.
 
Unfortunately, after years of fighting for more than I would ever know or understand. She relented.
 
She didn't want treatment, help or therapy. Well into the first year after the stroke, mama had officially, for all intents and purposes, given up. Or, so it seemed.
 
To her defense, she had dealt with some mental issues as well over the years and the stroke only compounded those issues. So, while part of her brain probably wanted to get better, the other part won over and so fast forward almost 13 years down the road, over a dozen mini seizures and strokes, feeding tubes, on and off life support, more rehab, words of encouragement, gifts and pictures to brighten the day, visits to the home and 4 grandkids later, her fight was now over.
 
It took a few years and lots of trauma before I saw a heart change in my mother. To some, it may not have been evident but it was there. She was different. I mean, of course her body had changed, her hair was a little more gray. Her skin a little more wrinkled but there was a bigger change. She was sweeter, softer, more gentle and pleasant. It was God.
 
When my mother first suffered the consequences of the massive stroke, I remember not being swayed one bit in my faith for her healing. Years passed and even after no signs of her recuperating, I still believed. I believed that God was still God. I believed that He had an amazing plan for her life. I believe that for some reason, unbeknownst to any of us, she was still here. He wanted it that way.
 
As I am now recalling, I believe that she is who God used for many things in my life but her stroke ignited my faith in Him. I believed as I never had before in God's ability to heal and bring change in not only my mom's life but in others' lives. God had used HER to grow my faith in Him.
 
His love is amazing.
 
 
THE RELEASE
 
As my mama was released back into the hands of her Creator, that day I remembered feeling a release in my own life as well.
 
Not at that very moment. It came a few hours after the news of my mama's death was delivered.
 
As I laid in bed and attempted to settle with the reality that she was gone and would not return, I thought about all the good things my mother had given to me.
 
I thought about physical attributes, good memories and some...well...not so good.
I thought about my character, integrity and what she'd taught me even when she wasn't trying to teach me. 
I thought about all the things she gave and all the things she didn't have to give.
 
And then, it came.
 
"Just as your mother has been released so have YOU. I {God} have called you, created you and released you into a great destiny and purpose for your life. What will you do with your release?"
 
I saw myself encouraging other women and helping them share their stories and "moments of release".
 
Needless to say, that moment, that word...changed my perspective about my mother's death. Did it still hurt? Of course. But that moment defined my thoughts about how God used my mama in my life and how HE wants to use mine. In that moment, I stepped out of myself and saw a much bigger picture in it all. May sound kinda strange but just as her LIFE gave me LIFE, so she has done in death as well. And while I will never be able to thank her or God enough for this life of mine I can honor her and Him with it.
 
Every one of you, all of us...we all have stories. You've just read a snippet of mine.
 
In 2014, I look forward to seeing how this wonderful story of mine continues to unfold.
 
Each year I have a life scripture that I hold on to. A few years back, mine was Jeremiah 29:11.
 
"For I know that plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you {great} hope and a future."
 
While I am still mourning the loss of my mama. I know that God has great things in store for me and for my family. My release has only just begun...
 
 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Out-of-the-Box {TRULY} Last Minute Gift Ideas {For the Procrastinator in All of Us}

 
My family and I are preparing to leave for the holidays and travel South to spend time with my family through the end of the year and I am SO excited! I am also ALREADY exhausted just thinking about all the last minute things I need to do to ensure a smooth transition from the Pacific Northwest to my old stomping grounds of Georgia and Alabama.
 
This year, since we are traveling for the holidays, we went with some not-so-traditional {for us} ideas for gift giving {which included a lot of online ordering} and I thought I would share just a few last -minute ideas with some of you out there who are looking for some quick ideas for those loved ones in your lives.  Considering we are now less than a week away from Christmas...we are emphasizing the TRULY.
 
This one's for the procrastinator in all of us...yes, including me!
 
 
THE GIFT OF WORDS | FOR FAMILY and FRIENDS
We all know that word art is all the rage right now and with a simple flick of the paint pen on just about any medium, you can make your very own - from the heart- message to gift to someone special whether it be for a  friend or someone in your own family.
 
I love the idea of taking traditional elements and using them in non-traditional ways and these plates are the perfect example. Take a trip to the thrift, stock up and stamp, paint or write away. Use a favorite quote or like Knack did here. Or, you could apply just one word that exemplifies that special someone in your life!
 
 
SIDENOTE: Can we talk about how awesome these scripture plates are? A nod to I John 4:18. Love.
 
 
And if you're really good with your hands, you could create something like this lovely piece found on Linea Carta. Amazing. She also has an Etsy shop {obviously for future orders and not Christmas} that you will want to check out. What a great find!
 
 
 
 
PUT A FRAME ON IT  |  CREATIVE ART FOR GRANDPARENTS
For the Grandparents, nothing beats a personal gift from the grandkids and what's cuter than handprints on canvas? Not much. Last year the kids and I used gray acrylic paints to make artwork to frame for our own gallery wall. Add a modern photo frame or another style to fit yours or others' personal home décor and you've got a quick, easy gift that you won't ever have to worry about ending up at next year's White Elephant Gift party.




 
 
OR NOT...
No frames? No problem. Another super quick and inexpensive idea is to use some of your kids' fave photos and take it to canvas! Again, if you have any hand lettering or calligraphy skills, you can add a sweet phrase or name and year of your child to make it even more personal!

TIP: Make friends with a someone who has mad handwriting skills...you won't regret it! And if you're struggling in that department, here is a list of a few handy letterers I found on Etsy. You can see an extended list here.


 
 
MAKE IT FUNCTIONAL | FOR MOM
So I guess I am on a "words" kick today but I love the idea of giving gifts that are more than just functional...they have to be pretty as well. Even if you're not the best at handmade gifts, just about anyone can create this easy and fun tea towel set for mom. You really don't have to have any mad sewing skills to pull this one off either! The no-sew version is always an option for all of the non Martha peeps out there! This super cute one from Taryn from Design, Dining, and Diapers is simple and elegant. If you have scrap fabrics or muslin lying around, you could whip up a set of these in no time. The one below has a flower stamped but you could, again, use individual words or a phrase fitting for your mom or MIL.
 
 
 
You can find the towels pictured here on my Pinterest board.
 
 
If you're a real warrior and have a little more time, try using this silhouette tutorial on a set of towels with your kiddies' faces on them. You're mom is sure to love them!
 
 
 
 
GOOD FOOD | FOR HIM
The old adage never changes..."the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach" so why should Christmas be any different...and what better theme than, yep, you guessed it...bacon. I thought it would be SO fun {and this would especially be a gift for those of you who don't cook a lot or who just can't find the time to do it as often as you'd like} to perhaps make this an add-on. How surprised would your special someone be if you told them that you had themed meals planned for the day? Just me? I know my hubby would be too happy!
 
You could choose any theme you want to bless the socks off your awesome man of the house but for me, THIS would be my go-to. OMG. Who knew bacon could be so classy?
 
From Grilled Pear, Bacon and Maple Syrup Crepes in the morning to Curried Bacon and caramelized Onion Soup at night for dinner, whatever  theme you choose is sure to fill your man's tummy and his heart! There's even a recipe on my board for bacon marshmallows. Wow.
 
          
 
 
 
Honestly, you could totally use these ideas and gifts throughout the year!
 
I can't wait to see what you guys come up with and hopefully these have helped you wrap up your Christmas list!
 
For more ideas, follow my  Last Minute Gifting Ideas Pinterest board here.
 
 
 
And for more fun...follow me here!
 
 




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Night Inspiration | We Win

Happy Sunday, Friends!
 
How has your week been? Ours has been really full but oh so awesome!
I am always SO excited for this day...the day that I get to share my heart with you and get a bit more personal here on the blog than other days and posts.
 
SOURCE: Society 6
 
We're going to dive right in here but first I'd like you to know something about these SNI posts...a few facts if you will:
 
SNI FACT #1
While I plan a lot of my posts and schedule them and understand the importance of that as a blogger from time to time, this is not one of them.
I really want these posts to truly be from the heart and a fresh word of encouragement for each of you and for that reason, sometimes, it comes down to the very last minute before I post.
 
SNI FACT #2
Most of the posts that I have written thus far are directly related to things that I am currently dealing with or have dealt with in my past and have victory over which is why you just may feel such a sense of passion flowing so heavily in my writing tone.
 
I'm not saying that this happens all the time but I guess what I am really trying to convey is that these posts are pure and from my heart and hopefully the heart of God as well...for his girls.
For me.
 For you.
For a generation.
 
 I am infinitely passionate about restoring the broken. Whether it be a piece of old, dilapidated furniture or a heart that needs mending. Just fills my cup, I guess.
 
If I may be SO bold...if you are here...it's because you are supposed to be.
It's because there is a God who is infinitely and eternally passionate about YOU.
A God who cares about the big things and the small things in your life.
A God who wants to hear about your day.
Love you when you're up and pick you up when you're down.


The past few months I've had a lot of those ups and downs for various reasons...most of them occurring in my mind.
A few years back God gave me a promise. As a matter of fact, it was a REALLY long time ago...like before creation a long time ago. Haha!
 
He promised me that even when things look they're best...they will only get better.
Now, life is not without circumstances of course.
We go through seasons where we just can't seem to catch a breath or keep our heads above water.
 
I'm sure we could all share a story about a hard time when we thought we would never make it through but how He worked it out...somehow...in our favor.
{Maybe because He is God and that is what He is into.}
 
Truth is, in the end, we win. Always.
 
He promises.
 
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”


So, when you feel like the Earth is shaking. Like everything around you is crumbling and nothing will stand.
You will.

There is a refining, a shaping, a molding happening in you as never before and just as He has promised ME the best is not only YET to come...it's here!
Friends, that promise is the same for you.
 
Enjoy your now...now.
 
Thanks for letting me share a piece of my heart and have some pretty open, honest and vulnerable conversations with you!

 




XO,