January 16, 2018

Books I Look Forward to Reading in 2018

In 2017, I set a goal to read 12 books throughout the year. And y'all, I did it! I actually read more than 12 books and that felt good.

When I was in high school I hated reading. Assigned reading assignments over the summer were, in my opinion, the absolute worse. Alas, I did the assignment and still owe a lot of my work to cliff notes. :)

The winter break of my freshman year of college, more than likely because I was pestering her with my boredom, my mom gave me a book to read. It was about a young single girl, trying to make rent, who becomes a bail bondsman and her mishaps along the way. Putting the book down was next to impossible, made me laugh and threw in a little romance! Lucky for me the book was number one in a long series (20+). I read all winter long and my love for books kept growing.

Naturally when making my goals for 2018, this rewarding goal was put back on the list. Taking advantages of the notes app, each time I see a book that interest me I jot it down. Here are some of the books making the list now:

1. No Drama Discipline: In all honesty, God has put on my heart how I parent, discipline, my reaction to my children. It is apparent that my actions are noticed by my sweet babies. Parenting is hard stuff. Fun, but hard. I want my littles to be kind and compassionate and full of faith and wonder. So how do I teach them that? This book helps redirect the meltdowns and Lord knows we need that direction right now.

2. Uninvited: My mom gifted me this book last Christmas and I just haven't gotten around to reading it. Everyone has such wonderful things to say about this read!

3. The Best Yes: Currently reading right now! And it is a game changer. I cannot wait to tell you my thoughts after I complete the book. Also, this book came highly recommended to me for the season of life I am in.

4. The Life Giving Home: Another way God is challenging my heart is the way we do "home". The way we invite people in, the coziness, the use of all that we own, the importance of making a home an outreach of my faith. I want a home that invites other inside and offers my guests an invited atmosphere. I want a home that blesses others just by being just like it is. Again, this book was a recommended read and from what I am told truly life changing.

5. The Woman in Cabin 10: Suspense, thrilling, on the edge of your seat read and I cannot wait! I have a feeling this one will be a cannot put down read. Mystery thrillers are one of my favorite genre's of books.

6. I Know How She Does It: Our world has this idea that having a successful career means a back seat to family and life. This book studies how successful women split their time and make their days feel meaningful on all aspect of life.

So what is on your bedside table now? What books do you hope to read in 2018? Let's start together! Light that candle, bundle up and crack that book open :) I am right there with you sister.


January 11, 2018

New Year + January Goals

Hey there pretty gal!

Welcome to a new year friend! We made it. We made it to a new year. A fresh start. I welcome it. How about you?

Yes, one of my goals for the year is to try to blog more but we have heard that before. To be honest, my newsletter is where my heart is at right now. But journaling whether on the blog or via my notebook is one goal for the year. More creativity through writing.

6 years ago I started this blog. Sometimes I think about that first post. Little did I know what writing would unlock for me. Almost 900 posts later, writing has brought about healing. In the midst of the crazy and the humbling experience of life, thoughts to paper is so nourishing for my soul. Since I want to write more, I decided instead of saying I am committing to blogging 4 times a week, I will write as I have time and leave a little grace for myself. Grace sounds good.

So why set goals? To be honest, I still feel unsettled in all my goals not just for this month but for the year. I feel God is reshaping me, refining me, that things are changing. My priorities are different. My motives are different. And guess what? That is 100% okay. If you feel the same way, unsure of your goals, there is comfort in that. Set goals anyway. Write them down. And just keep praying. Keep talking. Keep being open to his plan. Besides, his plan is far better than any idea I have in my mind.

One thing I have been using for goals this year that has rocked my world (truly) are Powersheets. Go buy them now. They are an investment that has been worth every cent. They make you evaluate, they encourage, they lift up, they bring clarity. In case you cannot tell, I am all about them.

On my tending list for the month of January, I wrote Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. -Gloria Steinem

Dreaming is okay sweet friend. 100% okay. Dream away. What we have to do is put that dream into motion. Slowly, in his will, but in motion. You deserve to live out those dreams, of all size. Go for it sista!

I plan to do a larger post for overall yearly goals (I am still refining them) but monthly goals are here to stay! My goals are a variety this month. A bit of everything.

Find a delicious recipe and bake a chicken. I want to find a recipe that is clean, wholesome and tasty to boot. With baking a chicken we can eat on it throughout the week. It saves us money and it healthy, financially and literally. Also I have never baked a whole bird.

Style and photograph wedding invites. I recently completed the most beautiful and classic linen paper invites for a sweet bride. She was an absolute gem to work with! I cannot believe how kind her soul is. It feels good to create something that both of us were proud of and excited to share with others. That is just one of the reasons I adore paper.

Finish reading Big Magic. I started this book at the end of 2017 but with the holidays I didn't find much time to read. This book is so good and I cannot wait to finish it.

Begin the contentment challenge. A few years ago I read Nancy Ray's contentment challenge blog posts (here, here and here) and immediately felt convicted. When this happens I know that it is a sign of something I should pursue or at least learn more about. I intended to start the year with this challenge but only do it two months. We have plans to start our hall bathroom remodel project this spring and I wanted to feel guilt free when it came to designing that space as to why I am pursuing two months. BUT the more I get into this challenge the more I realize longer may serve a better purpose. I keep praying about this. Also I did start this challenge on January 1 but (yep, another but) I feel I am somewhat failing. The thing with these challenges is that you can make your own rules. I think I need to re-evaluate what I consider "stuff". Here is the truth I have still bought coffee and new pillows for sleeping at night and to me, well, we can make it with what we have. So yes, I may start again. I am still learning. Still being challenged. Still praying.

And if you want to join in this challenge with me, I would love that!

These are some of my goals for January. How is your new year so far? I want to know. I am finding that seeing these goals daily is changing things up for me...in the best way possible! And if you don't feel successful in your goals, start over, make new ones, pray. It isn't too late to make things happen. Little by little is still progress. :)


October 31, 2017

Our Bedroom Inspiration

Raise your hand if you can't complete decorating one room in your home? Both hands are raised.

This Christmas season marks one year of being in our beautiful home. We moved the day after Christmas (which isn't for the faint of heart) and temporarily lived with my parents for two weeks while one of our two bathrooms was being remodeled.

And while I would love to say our home is complete and decorated, well, it isn't. But friends, that is okay! If you are in this same boat, don't worry. It is a new space for us and I feel we are entering into a life stage where we are starting to invest in purchases that make us happy. Don't get me wrong. I l-o-v-e  hand me down furniture and am beyond grateful for it. Otherwise, we would still be sitting on the ground watching t.v. at night. But we have developed a style and are starting to buy pieces that fit our home, our style and our budget.

With all this, I am ready to make a big kid bedroom for Rusty and I. Big kid as in a cohesive room with minimal design and major comfort. An escape. An oasis. A place to trying unwind.

In our old home our bedroom was massive and beautiful. It had a fireplace, a living room area, two bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and French doors to our patio. I never knew how to decorate it. It was stunning (even the felt wallpaper we pulled off ;)) Our new bedroom is small. Barely room for a dresser and our bed and my goodness I love it. We have old windows that let in beautiful sunlight. We have a charming space begging for attention. So here we are. A post dedicated to things I want to incorporate into our bedroom.

Things I want to incorporate:
  • Long dresser versus our stand up dresser
  • Nightstands
  • Full length mirror
  • Wall hangings/art
  • Scone near my side of the bed (for late night reading)
  • Blanket + pillow for our muted bedspread
  • Throw pillows (no rolling your eyes Rusty)
And now my favorite part, the inspiration!

Pom pom blankets, I hope you never go out of style. I love them. It would be a fun touch to have on the edge of our bed. We are also currently hunting for two bedside tables. I do want them to match and I want them to be classic. Tables that span the ages type style. Eyeballing these from West Elm but also love this one from Target.

See what I mean about the pom pom blankets. They are my jam. Also this pale, muted color palette carries through all these photos. It relaxes me. It feels elegant. It feels modern. It feels like us.

I truly don't think we have room for a bench at the foot of our bed but I love the idea. Somewhere to throw clothes until you actually make time to hang them up, a place to put on your shoes, practical space.

Y'all this design is just about perfect. Minimal, simple, calming and almost all from West Elm (my favorite store!!). We have a space when you first walk in our room that is perfect for a full length mirror. This one may just be my Christmas gift to myself.

What are the must haves for your bedroom? What makes your space cozy? I can't wait to hear your suggestions!