Sunday, February 5, 2017

I just needed a little love...

Is it just me or is it just so negative EVERYWHERE!? I mean I can't even deal with Facebook anymore because it's mostly rants, ads and debates. Then you turn on the TV and it's even worse. So this year, when February rolled around, all I wanted to do is embrace is love. February is the month of love after all. 

I don't go all out since we're only talking 2 weeks but little touches here and there make me feel happy. Now forgive the pictures because I snapped these quickly and don't have the best lighting in some. 

Both front doors have hearts to welcome in guests. I love how they sparkle and pop from the road. There's even a heart flag (not pictured) by the front door. 

Did you notice the hearts on the glass in the front door? They make me smile the most. When I see them it says "kids live here and we love them!" I especially love them at night. The boys had fun putting them up. 

Inside there are little touches here and there like the red hearts I found at Hobby Lobby that I placed in plants. 

On our foyer mirror there's a metal heart that coordinates with the sign hanging from our mantle. 

In the kitchen there are Valentine's napkins and a few votives and hearts placed. Again, not much but it's the small touches that remind us that love is in the air (or should be!) 

Our dining room (that's open to the living room) always gets the most because it's where we eat every night and it's also where the kids find their Valentine's Day presents when they wake up that day. 

This year I once again tied red hearts found at the Dollar Store with burlap wired ribbon on the backs of chairs. I smushed one so it's a slightly different shape but not something you readily notice and is quirky...much like those that live in this house.  

Then I placed my red felt runner along with some simple candles found at Target for $3. 

The kids have their own placemats that pull in the colors of our room. They are from Target several years ago (only $1!!) and I put their name in vinyl letters on the hearts. That's an easy trick for cheap placemats. The kids love them! 

One new love touch this year are love notes to my children. I bought simple doilies at the Target $1 bin and every day (or so) until Valentine's Day they get a love note put on their bedroom door. A different color for each child and I try to specify a positive behavior. When they first saw them, they both beamed as they were read. (I might have forgotten and put three up at one time. Better late than never!)  It really is important to fuel our children in positive ways and this one is so easy. 

That's it for my tour of love. Just a few fun changes here and there. I hope this year you'll spread a little love to someone special! Smooches...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Much More Than Lights

Meet my grandmother. I called her Gimmer because I couldn't pronounce grandmother and so when I was little, and being the first grandchild, it came out as Gimmer. Her real name was Emily Siler Rothrock (then Durban when she remarried after my grandfather passed). I loved her so much and I still miss her even though she's been gone for 13+ years. 

I snapped this picture from an old photo album not long ago because it's such a good picture of her and much of how I remember her as a little girl. She had a great sense of style. She was always dressed well with a bright lipstick on. She used to tell me at 4:45p (when I was visiting) "come on, Anna, it's time to go freshen up for supper" and we'd go comb our hair and put on our lipstick. Her home was always well decorated as well. Lots of little trinkets that meant something and all types of sentimental pieces that all seemed to work together. 

The house she lived in was one that she and my grandfather designed and built. It has such a fun layout and has a TON of storage. I would love to have the blueprints and recreate something similar one day. Every nook and cranny was thought through. 

They were once featured in a small magazine which now sits framed in my living room. In the center it has my mom and her three brothers posing in front of their "locker" when they were little. I've always said your home and art should be personal. It should reflect who you are and what you love, not just something that matches. 

So when we worked on our kitchen update I knew that the light we originally installed back in 2013 wasn't one I wanted to keep. The style was fine but the light it cast in our small kitchen was more like retina burning a radiating sun than a soft glow. You can see it at the top of the picture below. Pretty but not right for this space.

This brings me to the point of this post. Last fall I asked my mom and uncles if I could have one of the light fixtures from my grandmother's house. They still own the house and use it for extended family gatherings. She had two that were similar and the smaller one would be perfect in our kitchen. Much to my appreciation, they said yes. I literally did a happy dance when they all emailed back confirmation. 

Here's what the new lights in our kitchen look like now. 

Aren't they magnificent!? The hubs had them installed while the boys and I were still visiting my parents over Christmas and when I came in I squealed...and might have even just sat in the kitchen for awhile admiring them. They are a pretty blue, red and orange from the 1960's or 1970's (no one really knows for sure) and I just so happen to have these colors in my own home. They cast the pretties glow in the kitchen at night. 

But you see they aren't just a light. To me they represent my grandmother (yes I'm crying as I type this). They represent her style. Her spunk. Her wonderful eye for design. Her strength. And most of all, my fond memories of going to her house. Now a little part of her home hangs in my home. It will forever go with me no matter where we live. 

So to my family who said yes to me taking these lights...thank you. I know change isn't easy, especially when it's sentimental. It means more than you know and I still walk by and smile every time I see them. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kitchen Updates

You ever work on a project and picture it one way in your head yet in reality it turned out not to be so grand? Well I'm happy to say that's not the case here...well not anymore at least.  

When we first remodeled our kitchen we tried to work with what we had to save money but also make it more updated and functional. In hindsight I would have chosen not to paint our lower cabinets white and would have selected a different granite. That darn hindsight being 20/20 and all. 

I showed you the most recent picture before we updated (again) in our 2016 House Tour but here's a little refresher. 

With the recent changes I was most excited about A) the lighting (there's nothing like trying to cook with shadows) and B) the back splash. OK really, the back splash. I have always wanted a tile back splash and never had one in my homes. Tragic first world problems. Daniel was most excited about the vented hood range. 

So our friends over at SDJ Services handled most of the work plus a little more. I'm so excited to show you the finished kitchen because they did such a good job. Say hi, Shaun and Paul...

Hi Shaun!

Hi Paul!

Here's what the kitchen looks like after their handy work...complete with back splash, canned lighting, and a vented kitchen hood/microwave. 

Isn't it sooo much better!? I mean it's like 110% better...if that were a real number. But here's the funny thing. After I had all of the back splash up, I realized I hated the wall color. My poor husband. More on that soon because the solution is not pictured here. So in reality this isn't a completed kitchen yet. 

I opted for basic white subway tile with 1/4" grey grout to coordinate with the cabinet color. It's a small kitchen and while I could have done more fun in the way of tile, I wanted simple and classic for this house. I change things up too much so this allows me to play around. I opted for 1/4" grout because too small and it may have been too busy and white. The darker lower cabinet color is so much better for our busy house too. No more drips, dirt

You'll notice I purposefully left out the picture of the lights. There's a reason for that coming up in the aforementioned new post. 

Until then, and because I love a good before and after picture, check out how far we've come in the 3 years we've been here. 

Oh and if you want to contact SDJ Services for help in your home here's their info: 
(803) 422-5978 or