monthly goals update graphic

 

 

Holy crap!  It’s already time?!

 
 
July was full and lovely and hard.  We’ve had a lot of summer fun around here.  I’m more grateful for this eased pace in our family schedule than I’ve ever been.  And though there was so much to marvel at, there was a hefty portion of challenges too.   Such is life, I guess….but looking back at the gifts is something I don’t do often enough.  When I do them, it’s healing.  I’m going to try to work on that a bit.
 
 

So goal-wise {there were a lot of them last month!}, here’s how it went:
 

july-goals updated

 
 
 
So 5 1/2 out of 10 if you want to look at it that way.  I piled my expectations up too high for July, I think.  This whole learning how to set goals thing has a steep learning curve.  If perfection is the goal, there’s a lot of frustration.
 
 

2014-03-29_1396104981

 
 

–find new recipes/put meal plan on auto-pilot:  I did it just a couple days ago and it still needs work, but I’m using Plan to Eat and so far, I’m enjoying it a lot.  It takes so much of tedious leg-work out of assembling recipes, grocery lists and calendars by doing all that for you.  This will really come in handy once the school year starts.
 
–read The Treasure Principle: read it on the way to the beach…great little book.  Convicting and I needed that.
 
–switch insurance:  we had another ER trip this past month and some expensive blood work for another family member.  This has caused us to reevaluate whether the provider we wanted to move to would really benefit us so we intentionally didn’t do this one.  We’re going to shop around instead.
 
–go over budget with Josh:  nope.  probably the thing I most regret not getting to.
 
–collaborate with others through  blogging/IG:  I didn’t email a list of people, but I did connect with the leader of my mastermind group and started a fun, new partnership with another friend of mine that will serve this purpose really well.
 
–launch new stuff: Yes!  The Leather + Suede Collection came out this month and it was so much fun!
 
–look into selling at other markets:  just didn’t really have the brain space for this.  A local girl did reach out to me and she’s starting a group of Charlotte-area makers that will do markets together so basically, she’s doing some of the leg work for us. :)
 
–plan play dates and a girl’s night: highlights of the month!  we met at friend’s houses, pools, Monkey Joe’s and a splash pad.  There were also 2 different girl’s nights…both over Mexican food and good conversation.  Win.
 
–invite another family over: fail.  didn’t do this.
 
 

2014-05-26_1401068138

 
 

august goals

 
 
Can I just list what I think about August?
 
 
–My honorary niece has surgery to remove a brain tumor {please pray for Abby}

–Josh, Isaiah and myself have birthdays within 8 days of each other

– 4 other family birthdays

– A trip out of town

– My sister and niece move from 15 mins away to out of the country {tears}

– Dr and dentist appts for kids {big stressor for me}

–Manny gets registered for Kindergarten

– Both boys start school

– Big work project continues

 
 
 
I want to take to my bed.  Just typing it out makes me feel all jittery.  Aside from Christmas, August is the craziest month of the year for us so I needed the goals to be light and free from the usual pressure I assign to them.  I felt I needed a few goals that will serve us well but I also needed to make a goal of NOT doing some things.
 
 

2014-06-22_1403395408

 
 

What I hope to do…
 
 
Try yoga. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and physical relaxing sounds so good to me.
 
10 week plan.  Soon I’ll be able to tell you all about this.  Right now, it’s a lot of work.
 
10th anniversary trip. I realize we just got back from a fun weekend away, so please don’t hate me.  I feel extra spoiled by that.  Our 10th anniversary was last November and we never really did anything, but we promised that we would get away at some point.  The week of our birthdays sounded like a good time so we’re heading to the coast again.  I’m looking forward to this so much.
 
Freshen our living room walls:  I’ve been wanting to change things up in there by rearranging and adding some new art.  Those kinds of projects make things feel all new and fun.
 
Wake up at 6am: Technically, this has been a goal for over a month now and I’m sucking at it.  With early school mornings looming ever before me, I have new motivation.  Well, that and the peace of a quiet house. :)
 
Be ok with what you’re able to do:  Easier typed than done, but acknowledging that I’m not a superior being with the ability to time travel is crucial for me to not fall into the trap of performance shame.
 
 

single bloom necklaces

 
 

What I’m trying NOT to do:
 
 
Add new responsibilities: I need a season of not adding anything.  Even if I want to.  The big picture view I have right now needs to inform the idealistic, impulsive agree-er I can be in the moment.  This is just not the month to add unless Jesus says so.
 
Launch new stuff: I love it and it’s fun, but I’m giving myself permission to not produce in this way right now.  I may need to engage with my shop a little more lightly.  Not checking in multiple times everyday and thinking up new designs when I’m not checking.  The shop is just going to be.
 
Shame talk myself about what’s undone:  No one reading this struggles with this one, right? ;)
 
 
 
So that’s it for the month! How was your July, friend? Anything in particular you’re looking forward to in August? You’ve been such a good “listener” and I want to be that for you so feel free to sound off!
 
 
 
 
Linking up with We Are THAT Family.

Pin It

4 Comments

 
 
 

Good morning to you!

 
 

This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.

 
 

Whew!  I’m tired.  In a good way, I think.  But also in  a “who the heck taught me that summer is restful” way. :)

 
 
 

Hello little getaway

 

me and josh me and josh 4 me and josh 3 me and josh 2 2014-07-21_1405948446
{he’s so dreamy}

 
 

For our birthdays {both of us next month}, my parents kept our kids and sent us off to the beach for two nights by ourselves.  It was lovely.

 
 

It took me a full day to decompress after an exceptionally long week but being lazy, reading by the pool and soaking up warm breezes by the waves was exactly what I needed.   We had good conversations {uninterrupted!} and acted like we were dating.  It was really fun.  After almost 11 years of marriage, I still just want to hang out with him like we always have since we were 18.

 
 

And we took a lot of ridiculous selfies {usies?} because that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. ;)

 
 
 

Hello rough parenting moments

 
 

I put this on instagram the other day:

 

“…I’m learning that I have about 6 weeks in me of enjoying this slow summer season and being with my kids all the time. And then it’s over. I feel guilty wishing it away and already wanting school to start but y’all? I’m TIRED. Working at home with their constant needs, conflicts and desires is wearing on me. Maybe I’ve put too much pressure on myself to get things done but this undefined middle place is really starting to catch up with me… and my attitude shows it. How are you doing it?”

 
 

I am FEELING it.  And if I’m honest?  I probably have pushed past what I know is reasonable to expect of myself and them.  I continue to try to cram everything that needs to get done {or feels like it should get done…there’s a difference}  into one little day and it results in all of us being frustrated.  And to be honest, I’m not really sure how to fix it.   I’m a work at home mom and this is part of it…the gritty and messy.  I’m sure you have seasons like that too.

 
 

If you’re working from home or just trying to get things accomplished with kids underfoot, how do YOU do it?  I could find a million blog posts about this, but I like hearing from y’all best. :)

 
 
 

Hello little art project

 

IMG_4622

IMG_4630
IMG_4624

 
 

Despite the hard parenting moments, there have been really fun ones too.  The other day we pulled out small canvases, paint and brushes and had ourselves a ball.  I limited our color palette a bit but other than that, each kid was free to create whatever their heart desired and I did the same.

 
 

I get why people paint to relax.  It was sooo nice to just do one thing and concentrate on the hues and the small movements of brushing color across the white canvas.

 
 

We all got really into it and soon they will hang in the living room.  Can’t wait to show you that!

 
 
 

Hello fall mood board

 

Follow Dana’s board fall mood board 2014 on Pinterest.


 
 

And while we’re on the subject of art, I’m doing something new this year in planning my fall pieces and that is by creating a mood board.  It is so fun, you guys!  I don’t have any rules.  The things that inspire don’t have to go well together or make sense or clearly translate into accessories.  The only rule is that I’m inspired by them so that makes the whole process really natural and non-pressury.

 
 

I’m having the best time.  Later, I’ll go back through and see what the common elements are that are catching my eye, and that’s where the design process will really start to take shape.

 
 

I highly suggest it!  Even if, for no other reason, you do it because it’s a lot of fun and it shows you what you’re naturally drawn to.

 
 
 

Hello simple meal plans 

 

meal planning

{source}

 
 

Here we are in the last week of July so I’m scrambling to get some of my goals for the month scratched off.  One of the more crucial goals was to develop a meal plan that I don’t have to think about.

 

I love the idea of dedicating different nights to a certain cuisine {whether or not you stick with it} as a way to simplify the meals you keep in rotation.  I have about 5 categories we regularly eat from so I made a list of meals, hunted pinterest for more recipes and then hopped over to Plan to Eat for a free 30 day trial.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about them and so far I’ve really liked how easy it is to upload recipes and then drag and drop them into a calendar.  I’ll let you know how I do after a month!

 
 

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat
{this is a referral link but my opinion is completely honest based on my experience}

 
 
 

What are you saying hello to this week?
 
 
 

Pin It

2 Comments

 

 
 

Happy Friday, everyone!

 
 
It’s the last day of our birthday week and I’ve saved one of my favorite deals for last:

 

friday deal

 
 
 

Every order placed today, no matter the amount, will be sent out with a little surprise from the shop tucked in with it.  It could be a necklace, a pair of earrings, a badge reel…who knows!   It’s basically a two-fer {or better!} so head over to the shop and pick something out.  I can’t wait to surprise you!

 
 
 
Today is also the last day of the giveaway…it all ends at 11:59 est tonight!  Just a few minutes of your time and you could win 4 of your favorites!

 

favorite four giveaway

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
 

Thank you so, so much for celebrating with us!  I’m so honored that you would come back over and over to be part of this little shop and blog the Lord has been kind to entrust to me.  Y’all are precious people. :)
 
 
 

Pin It

Add a Comment

 
 
 
Today is awesome.
 
 

1) Because it’s Thursday and therefore, almost the weekend and 2) because…

 

Thursday deal

 
 
 

…it’s day 2 of our fun, little fourth birthday party! {Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Go catch up real quick.  We’ll wait.}

 
 
 
Who doesn’t love earrings?! To get this deal, simply go check out all the earrings in the shop and then leave me a convo {click on the “contact the shop owner” button in the shop} with the 2 pairs you like and I’ll set up a special listing just for you that includes the discount. {Ends tonight at 11:59 pm est.}
 
 
Easy Peazy.  And these make the sweetest little gifts. {wink}

 

 

 

Care to test your odds?  I recommend it!  Especially when you consider what we’re giving away…

 

favorite four giveaway

 
 
Even if you entered yesterday, there are several entries that you can earn each day.

 
 
 

Have fun, friends!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 
 

Pin It

3 Comments

 

 

 

I can barely contain my wonder when I look back at the last four years.  I’ll save all my gushing for another post, but I will say that the joy that has met me through this work that I do has been one of my life’s greatest surprises.  I am so, so grateful that you would read here, talk with me on social media and keep coming back to see what’s new in the shop.  Y’all are such a sweet part of my life.
 

lets par tay
 

 

I’ve polled my friends and wracked my brain and decided that I wanted to combine the best of our deals for you AND do a big giveaway {!!!}.  So, here’s how this little shindig will work:
 

 

–Starting today through Friday there will be a new deal each day.  The deals will post here at 6 am {est} each morning and end at 11:59 pm each night.  

 

–In addition to that, you can enter to win a Favorite Four Prize Pack which includes your favorite pieces from the shop in four categories.

 

{some entries can be earned everyday}

 

 
 

Here are the deals each week {I wanted you to be able to plan and get the best deal for you}:

 

HLL partay deets

 

 
Today, we are giving 25% {get it? one fourth?} off any and all necklaces in the shop.  Simply go to checkout and enter the code: “HLLFOURTH” and it will come off automatically.  The perfect time to stockpile, friends!
 

 

 

The giveaway:
 

This is for your choice of  1) statement necklace, 2) pair of earrings, 3) single bloom and 4) badge reel or girl’s mini necklace {can be made to match any adult necklace}…I’ll let you pick.  You just pick out your four favorites and I’ll ship them right to you.  How fun!!!

 
 

 

favorite four giveaway

 

 

 

This is going to be a fun few days, y’all! The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm est Friday night.  I’m rooting for you and thanks for celebrating with me!!!
 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Pin It

20 Comments

HLL fourth birthday

 

 

Happy Monday!

 
 

I’ll be back to Hello Monday next week, but today I just wanted to make one quick announcement.  Our birthday celebration is moving to Wednesday.  While today is our official birthday…I pushed publish on our shop exactly 4 years ago {yay!}…I feel like I needed more time to plan the way I want.
 
 
Last week was a bit nutso with a sick kid who finally ended up in the ER {he’s fine}, an intense work season, kids home with me most of the week and having to do some things are really anxiety-producing for me {more on that later} plus a weekend trip.  Whew.
 
 
I just needed a little margin.  Y’all know I love margin. :)
 
 
So we’ll just extend the celebration through the week.  Sound good?

 
 
 
 
I’m busy planning the goods, but if there’s something you love that I’ve done in the past {maybe the way I or another shop owner did it?}, I’m all ears.

 
 
 
Have a great start to your week, friends, and I’ll see you back here Wednesday! {psst…did you get to see our new Leather + Suede collection? see it all here.

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment

 
 
 

The leather and suede collection

 
 
I’m so glad it’s finally time!  Y’all, I have been wanting to work with leather and suede forEVER.  I’m not quite sure what took me so long, but it feels amazing to get some of these ideas out of my head and into the real world where you can see them, touch them wear them.
 
 
And I have a feeling that this is just the beginning for these materials in my shop.
 
 
So let’s get to it, yes?
 
 
 
suede earring collage

{teal + coral//green + teal//blue + coral//lavender + white//nude + gold//mocha + gold}

 
 

These cuties are where it started for me.  I love the colors and texture of suede matched with my favorite Czech glass beads… and the fact that you forget you’re wearing them because they are so soft and light is the cherry on top.  The options are vast so I started with these six.

 
 

I cut them all by hand and layered colors I think you’ll love.

 
 
 

leather hoop collage

{teal accent//yellow accent}

 
 

Inspired by my favorite metal pair, I wanted to make something that had a luxe, boho feel with a bit of a western twist, but didn’t dig into my neck or feel too heavy.  These hit the spot.  They are crazy light and soft against your skin.  They are quiet {hello, moms who hear enough racket all day! }, and the little extra sparkle in the bead gives it something special.

 
 

Hand cut by me so they are 100% one of a kind {perfect is boring}.  I see these transitioning to fall wardrobes seamlessly.

 
 

{Does anyone else feel the need to order cowboy boots pronto?}

 
 
 

leather and turquoise collage

{leather + turquoise}

 
 

I’m giddy about these little bows.  I mean, how cute are they???

 
 

Again, so many possibilities so I’m starting simply with three necklaces for you to enjoy.  I made each bow by hand and added them to my signature beaded necklaces for an accent that you don’t see every day.

 
 

Also, at 23 inches, these next few necklaces hang just a tad longer and I love that.  {If you need a different length, just ask!}

 
 
 

mint and coral collage

{mint + coral}

 
 

Feminine, smart and really darling.  Mint and coral is so hot right now, but this is my own take on it.

 
 
 

leather ornate collage

{leather + metal}

 
 

This combination of rustic leather and elegant, ornate beads makes me swoon.  The beads are light and covered with little gold and cream flowers so the neutral color palette means this piece goes with everything.

 
 

I think it will make you swoon too. ;)

 
 
 

I’m so glad you stopped by to see this new leather and suede collection!  I design my pieces for YOU so your feedback is incredibly valuable to me.

 
 

Share this post anyway you like, then leave a comment telling me about it and I’ll pick one reader tomorrow night and send them their choice of earrings. Oh yeah, and take 20% off anything in the shop today just because you’re awesome. Use the code: “leatherandsuede”. Thank you SO much!!!

 
 
 

…here’s an easy, sharable graphic for you to use:
 

the leather + suede collection instagram

 
 
 
 
***UPDATE: The winner is MANDY!!! {Mandy, check your email!} Thank you guys so, so much for sharing about my shop. Y’all are the best.
 
 
 

Pin It

14 Comments

 
 
 

Happy Monday morning to you!

 
 

This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for beauty and joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.

 
 

I missed last week so I’m all geared up and ready to say some hello’s today.  Join me?

 
 
 

I’ve been busy summering…how about you?

 

summering collage

 
 

Hello mushy summer brain

 

I’ve swung from hyper anxious and feeling frantic to complete mush.  No motivation to do much of anything.  Where is the middle?!  I just want to lay around by large bodies of water, have a nanny, housekeeper and wait staff follow me around, refilling my fruity drinks {with the little straws} and read a good book.  I don’t feel like that’s asking too much.

 
 

My mom, sister and I recently had a funny discussion about the kind of people who use “summer” as a verb…as in, “so where does everyone summer?”  I might not have 3 different vacation homes to choose from but, dangit, I’m summering.  The mush might be here for a bit longer.

 
 

Hello creative overload

 

Big projects are in the works {can’t wait to tell you!} and that has filled my mushy brain to the brim.  Today, I finally took an hour to write out some main goals, then sub-goals, then a 10 week plan.  Who am I?  Lest you get the wrong idea, I am not a planner by nature.  It was just the only way to get my brain organized so I don’t start to feel frazzled.  I’m finding it really helpful to write out my main objectives of what I want to happen and then work backwards, filling in the smaller steps I need to take to get there.

 
 

How do you brain dump?

 
 

Hello books

 

Thanks to due dates from the library, I’m reading a lot more these days.  Yay!  Right now, I’m really focused on finishing the last few chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire {it’s overdue} and my friend Courtney just recently passed me The Fault in Our Starsso I’m excited about starting that one soon.

 
 

What are you reading right now?

 
 

Hello getting out of the house

 

Our family is finally at the place where it is sometimes easier to leave the house than stay in it.  The natives get restless so going our friend’s and family’s pools, grandparents houses, parks and play dates have been keeping us from eating each other {it’s like Lord of the Flies over here}.  This week it’s a local splash pad with friends and I’m excited.

 
 

Hello shop birthday!

 

One week from today the shop turns FOUR!  Etsy years are like dog years so this is really fun for me.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the best sellers were, how the shop grew this past year and…most importantly…planning fun surprises for you guys!  Stay tuned for more about that soon.  You won’t want to miss next Monday. ;)

 
 

Any particular lovelies or promos in the past that you especially loved?  I want to hear!

 
 

Hello sneak peek

 

2014-07-09_1404936433

 
 

A new batch of lovelies are coming on Wednesday and friends, prepare your hearts for….

 
 

LEATHER

 
 

I’ve been wanting to work with leather and suede for a really long time so I’m pretty excited.  I think you will be too.

 
 
 

Share with me what you’re saying hello to?  Perfect.  And I hope you have a wonderful start to your week!  

 
 
 
 
*affiliate links might have been used so if you buy, I’ll receive about 4%. thanks for supporting me!

Pin It

7 Comments

 
 

Happy Friday, you guys!
 
 
I’m switching things up right now with this Oh Hey Friday post.  The Five Things on Friday link up is on a break for the summer, but I have come to really enjoy these posts so this week we are linking up with September FARM and The Farmer’s Wife for their very first Oh Hey Friday link up!
 
 
It’s the exact same format, just different hosts {they felt the same way I do and didn’t want to break for the summer}.  I hope you’ll click over and even join with us or enjoy the other Friday posts.
 
 
 

five great reads on living with less

 
 
 
So, since I posted a little update on our house purge this week, it got me excited about it all over again!  Sometimes you just have to dive in and it will come back you.  I started going back through blogs and posts that have really inspired me in the past.  I even found some new great reads so today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite reads for getting inspired to live with less…be that less space or less stuff or both.

 
 
1.  Assortment — 665 sq ft.
 

assortment kitchen

 
 
I found Carmella in my Country Living magazine one day and had to know more about her story.  Then I discovered her blog and fell in love.  This lady is a beautiful, beautiful writer.  She loves Jesus, she and her family of 5 have made radical changes to simplify and their 665 square foot space is dreamy.  So much inspiration here.  I recommend you start with their story.

 
 
 
2.  Shalom Mama — family of 6 living on a BUS
 
bus-conversion-tour
 
 

This girl is quirky and fun and totally out of the box.  I first found her on Tsh’s podcast {another wealth of wisdom on living simply} and she was so interesting!  She’s very committed to natural living and her blog is so intriguing to me in general, but y’all.  Her family of 6 LIVES ON A BUS.   I’m not saying I want to go this route but it’s crazy to see how they make this work and ARE HAPPY.  So fun to read.
 
 
 
3.  A 30 Piece Wardrobe

 

30 piece wardrobe (1).jpg

 
 
Have you ever heard of building a capsule wardrobe?  Basically, it’s a pared down wardrobe of quality pieces that mix and match well together so you have what you need and the decision of what to wear is much simpler.  As a clearance/thrifting/impulsive hoarder, I’ve ended up with a closet of clothes that I don’t love and plenty of occasions where I don’t feel like I have what I need.
 
Enter this post.  I can tell she put so much thought into it as she takes you step-by-step through the process she’s used to come up with a 30 piece year round wardrobe.  She’s a smart cookie, that one.

 
 
 

4.  10 Reasons Our Family Wants to Live with Less Stuff
 

10 reasons to live with less stuff
 
 
 
This was one of the first posts I read when we started the process of getting rid of our crap.  I lined up on almost every single reason and she put words to how I felt.  If you want to feel validated in your stress with your stuff or feel motivated to live more and manage stuff less, this is a great read.

 
 
 
5.  Five Helpful Tips for Purging Crap
 
RantsPurgingChart
 
 
If you’ve ever hit your breaking point with the crap {raise your hand if you’ve thought about burning it all down and starting over}, you’ll enjoy this read.  She’s hilarious and still offers practical suggestions for what to actually do with all the stuff you’re purging.

 
 
 
Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

 
 


 
 
 

Pin It

8 Comments

 
 
 

{Before we start,  we are a family of 5 living in a little house just over 1000 sq ft and don’t plan to move in the near future.  We are tired of managing stuff…moving it, cleaning it, organizing it, stepping over it, etc.  We would rather do other fun stuff so…we’re trying to fix that.  You can read a little more about that here and see what we’ve done so far in our bathroommaster closet and bedroom, the boys’ roomZoe’s roomphase 1 of our hall closet and phase 1.5 of our hall closet…which is fully functional but has still yet to be completely finished.}

 
 
 

Let’s just go ahead and acknowledge the fact that it has been a full 5 months since I’ve really talked about our house purge.  Other house projects have come and gone, a school year became really intense and then ended, the months have flown by and life has happened.  Lots of really good, beautiful stuff and plenty of living.

 
 

 Sure, there’s been some donating and cleaning out happening here and there.  I feel like I’ve cleaned out the boys’ room at least 3 other times.  I guess it just didn’t feel like enough to write about.

 
 

But I have thought about our goal of getting rid of 30-50% of our stuff a LOT.  This task is not completed and I still intend to “finish”.  One of the biggest things I’ve learned through this process is that purging has levels.  You could do a huge sweep through your entire house and get rid of bags and bags of stuff you don’t need and maybe feel finished, but my hunch?  Is that you will peel back that first layer to reveal covered up layers of things you have been holding onto that’s cluttering up your life without even realizing it.

 
 

Getting rid of that stuff is where the good stuff happens.  It forces you to get to the why of your stuff problem.  And dealing with that leads to freedom and a lighter living space.  I’m still working through this, to be honest.

 
 
 

So enough talk now.  I’ve recently headed into my living room to tackle the buffet that houses wii remotes, office supplies, our dvds, craft supplies, junk and also serves as our entertainment center.  After I tackled that, I went to work lightening up our tiny kitchen.

 
 

The buffet was in a tragic state.  Some of the drawers wouldn’t even open and each one was it’s own mini explosion of randomness.

 
 

buffet before 4 buffet before 3 buffet before 2 buffet before 1

 
 

I didn’t do a great job of taking pictures {I was in a mode, y’all}, but I threw out all kinds of crap and reduced our dvd collection by about 40%.  When I finished, each drawer had plenty of room and the bottom drawer was empty.  Yay!

 
 

buffet after 3 buffet after 2 buffet after 1

 

 
I moved in art supplies to several of the drawers that were displaced after we did the boys’ room so now they have quick and easy access to them.  Spare junk and tools that I was scared to throw away were corralled in a zip lock bag.  Pencils, pens and office supplies were greatly pared down so they can now fit in the little containers I already had in there.  Still not sure how to make the wii stuff look pretty, but when the drawer is closed, it’s fine. :)

 
 
 

So, the kitchen.  Y’all, I don’ t have many nice things to say about our kitchen.  I really, really struggle with it.  Daily.  When we bought the house almost 11 years ago, I was happy when I followed the instructions on the back of the Chicken Helper box successfully.  That’s not an exaggeration, so I could care less that the kitchen was tiny, had almost no counter space and only 2 drawers.  I was maaarrrrried!!!!
 
 

Here we are, a decade and 3 kids later, and we haven’t done very much to update it.  I have a list a mile long of things we want to do, but pouring tons of money into a house that won’t give us much return has been our deterrent for a long time.  BUT…I have done a few things to cuten it up and having it de-cluttered is one of the cheapest, most gratifying things you can do for your space, no matter how small it is.
 
 
Here’s the before:
 

kitchen before 3 kitchen before 4 kitchen before 5 kitchen before 2 kitchen before 1

 
 

A few things to note:
 
–that counter space above {and mainly the section to the left of the sink} is where I do almost all of my cooking.  See how full it is with our coffee stuff?  {And this is fairly clean.}
 
– the 3rd picture is of a white cabinet that we bought to house our baking stuff and our trash and recycling is out of sight at the bottom of the cabinet.  It’s a great helper to us.  Unfortunately, the top was becoming a very visible catch-all.
 
– the 1st picture is of a bookshelf another teacher gave Josh several years ago.  He hung it on the wall over our table and I looove the extra shelving and fun decor options it has given us.  I also like to call it our South American Fruit Stand because all our fruit goes on the bottom 2 shelves.   Lately though, the yellow has started to feel less fun and more over-powering.  I’ve been craving visual rest.  A quieter space.
 
 
I had already gone through our closed cabinets so this time I just focused on all the surfaces you could see….our 2 main upper cabinets, countertops, the bookshelf and the top of the white cabinet.  I got rid of dishes we never use and stored extras we only need sometimes or are seasonal {like my beloved pottery bowls we use for soups}.  They went into a big basket that sits on top of the cabinets.  I also rearranged some decor for a fresh, lighter feel.
 
 
And my favorite is the crisp white paint job the bookshelf got.  Aaaahhh.

 

kitchen after 1 kitchen after 2 kitchen after 3 kitchen after 4 kitchen after 5 kitchen after 6 kitchen after 7

 
 
 
 
Here are a few side-by-sides to see the difference:

 

kitchen before:after kitchen before:after 5 kitchen before:after 4 kitchen before:after 3 kitchen before:after 2

 

 

It’s not revolutionary, but it definitely better. :)  Oh, and if you want the details on how I backed the cabinets to give them more personality {and grab the attention of Good Housekeeping!}, you can read all about it here.  It has been a full year and remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever done in our house.
 
 
Also, my most viewed post here by far is my tutorial for making the yard wrapped “EAT” on our shelves.  That’s here.  Such a fun project.

 
 
 

So!  What have you been cleaning out these days?  I need some motivation!
 
 
 
Linking up with We Are THAT Family.

2 Comments

Older Entries