I Can Not Do It All

image via Jones Design Company

I stumbled on this print a few days ago, and I think I need to have this framed in a couple of different locations around my house. How about you?

I did a little personal inventory of my priorities this morning, and it wasn’t pretty. When you add up all of my outside activities, not including blogging, the occasional dinner with friends, or the everyday things that need tending to around the house (budgeting, cooking, laundry, market runs, etc) it adds up to 39 hours a week. 39 hours a week?! I thought I was a stay at home mom! Apparently, just because I don’t wear heels and sit in a cubicle anymore, doesn’t mean that the work load has gotten any lighter. I know what you must be thinking. We’re all busy, right? Well, for me personally, this reveals a need for some major adjustment.

I was reading a parenting magazine article a few months back. It suggested that when a mother works more than 20 hours a week outside the home, the rest of the family begins to feel the affects of it. I believe the affects for each family are different, so excuse me for being so vague, but I took that so much to heart. I may not have to report to an office, but those things outside of my home are weighing rather heavy on the scale lately, and requiring more of my attention than I can afford to give. I don’t have to punch a time clock to be considered unavailable at home.

I am speaking entirely from personal conviction, and in no way do I judge women who work outside their homes. But for me, reading, singing, and dancing to Salem’s favorite Bible songs CD are priorities to me. Today, Mia was having “Tummy Time” while I was clipping coupons. I looked over and her entire mouth was blue. After a little search and rescue maneuver, I uncovered a spit- covered mass that once was a coupon. It was incredibly cute albeit disgusting, but my point is this. No activity is worth my time or my contribution at their expense. Only I can look into their eyes and see my hurried lifestyle. Their little instincts can tell when mommy is reading “A Lovely Day for Amelia Goose”, but really she is thinking about making calls, placing orders, and getting to the post office before it closes. No one can convince me otherwise.

So, it is time to recalibrate. Today, I simply acknowledge that I CAN NOT DO IT ALL.

It’s a start, right?

Great Cheap Date Challenge #20

Whoa! We’re up to 20 date nights completed. So far, so good! It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’ve been pulled in a million different directions, and I just want to be home for goodness’ sake! So, I think that we ought to plan a stay-at-home date. such as…

Henry and June

“Compose together, or take turns writing paragraphs and then folding over what you’ve written except for the last sentence, which the other person then continues until the conclusion of the tale, at which time one of you reads the whole thing aloud.”

I’m sure this will be a riot to post about on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Decor Cabinet: Before and After

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend planned. Clark and Salem spent the better part of last Saturday working in the front yard, (which I’m proud to say no longer looks like the scene of the Apocalypse), while Ameila and I worked on this…

It was sad and dreary and begging for attention, so we got to work sprucing it up!

First, we sanded and gave it a thorough wipe down(yes, that is an old burp cloth)….

And then we dusted. I used a stray sock that had been sadly forsaken by it’s partner. Am I the only one who is puzzled by missing socks on laundry day? Socks check into the dryer but they don’t check out!

We taped the edges to paint nice smooth lines.

This is where the project began to evolve. I took a chance by tinting the primer a bright orange . My plan was to distress this piece and have this fun color show thru a more neutral shade. True story. I had hit such a stride working on this that I didn’t want stop to feed Mia. I ended up nursing her while priming the cabinet. I know. So many things wrong with this picture.

I chose this color as the top coat. Am I the only person who is partially swayed by paint names? For instance, this is not just plain old ecru. This shade is called “Elegant Lace”. The name makes me want to sip tea with my pinky raised and discuss ornate tapestries.

These Lucky Number knobs from Anthropologie were well worth the splurge. I just couldn’t help myself! Note to self: Choose your hardware first. That way you can fill old holes and drill new ones to fit. I lucked out by finding some that I liked that were the right size, but my options were very limited.

We then set to work making our updated furniture look more….well…. dated.

I sanded portions of the wood that would have experienced natural wear over time to give it the shabby chic look. It was at this point that I breathed a sigh of relief. The orange tinted primer to be a GREAT idea!

Add some updated hardware…. and… voila!

I went for a drive last week (I can’t remember the last time that I did that!), and stumbled on this amazing antique consignment shop called South End Exchange where I feel in love with this vintage soda crate and this ceramic tea pot. I wouldn’t dare use it to serve tea, but it is perfect for holding chalk since the surface of this piece is painted with chalk board paint!

This cabinet is now home to some of my favorite vases, candle stick holders, picture frames, and lamp shades that aren’t being used in my current decor scheme. And there you have it!

Cost Breakdown:

{paint and supplies: $46}

{updated hardware: $28}

{antique table display: $45}

{memory with Amelia: $Priceless$}





Welcome Basket

My mother came in last night to stay for a few days. In keeping with the spirit of hospitality, I made her this welcome basket.

My friend, Anisa, inspired me to do this last time we stayed with her and her husband Casey. A few fresh towels, some candles, lotions, sample perfumes, a recent edition of Charlotte magazine, and a few other essentials and mom was instantly at home. During your next hotel stay, be sure to snag the soaps and bath gels that you used only once, and add them to your next welcome basket. This is a fun and unique way to make guests feel warm and invited.

Thanks Anisa! Your spirit of hospitality has spread to my house this week!

Coupon Bandits

Monday night I was out until after midnight. Did I get a wild hair to throw caution to the wind, put on my LBD, and go out dancing with my husband? Not exactly.

I went couponing.

Confession. I have never used a coupon in my adult life. When I was in high school, my mom dated a guy named Joe. Joe wouldn’t leave the house unless he had a coupon for it. He would take my mom, my sister and I out to dinner (with a coupon of course) and pray before every meal, “Lord, lead us to bargains.” We would roll our eyes and kick each other under the table. Ever since then I thought that people who used coupons were just cheap. Well…. pride goeth, right? While the rest of my family was all snug in their beds Monday night, there I was with my girlfriend Martha clipping coupons in the parking lot at Harris Teeter.

Martha, has turned coupon clipping into an art form. She has a 3-ring binder with dividers labeled by food groups, and coupons filed in plastic baseball card sleeves. She can walk into the supermarket and purchase $50 worth of groceries for $10! I asked her to teach me her tricks, so she and I sat in my van staking out the place with our binders full of coupons plotting how we were going to rob the place blind. Cheese, pasta, taco seasoning….. FREE FREE FREE! It felt like we were stealing.

When we got to the register and discovered that I had saved over $60 with my coupons, I thought Howie Mandel himself was going to jump out from the canned meats aisle at any moment and tell me that I had just won the million dollar case. I was elated! I’m surprised the cashier didn’t say that there was a sale on aisle 13 for those looking to get a life, but he just smiled unsuspectingly as we made it out of the store with our loot.

I came home to a tired husband who met me outside to help me unload the get away car. He laughed as I laid out all of the groceries and pulled out my camera.

I just had to prove it to myself. I don’t think I’ve spent 100 bucks on groceries since I was single and eating Ramen.

Just in case you are entertaining the idea of doing something scandalous, check out Southern Savers for coupons and deals in your area! I’m seriously considering ironing my bed sheets next just for kicks. I know… I’m a wild woman!

The “Everyday”

There are so many things that I should be doing right now other than blogging… clipping coupons, preparing dinner, balancing the budget. I just reviewed my “to do’s” for the day and seriously considered adding “Have a good cry” to the top of the list. Nothing has happened to merit a melt-down, but there are some days that I can’t seem to get unstuck. Last Wednesday, I overturned an entire bowl of vanilla yogurt into the silverware drawer. A simple mishap that could have happened to anyone sent me into such a downward spiral for the rest of the day that immediately after the kids went to bed, I pulled the covers over my head and nursed a cold beer like it was one of Mia’s bottles. I felt like that scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where she carries on about turning 40 even though it is still more than a half decade away. That was me….. blubbering on about spilled yogurt, and next thing you know I’m picturing my kids sitting across from a shrink 20 years from now telling them how it all started with their mom’s utter incapability to fix a decent breakfast. I started this blog to shed some light and inspiration on the everyday life of women who seek to beautify the world around them. Lets be honest. There are times when the “everyday” can seem about as exciting as a gluten-free diet. The “everyday” comes complete with bad traffic, bad hair, cramps, late fees, taxes, and calls from relatives. It is in the “everyday” that you and your significant other are speaking a completely different language and can’t for the life of you have a conversation without it falling into some tragic misunderstanding. Lets face it. The “everyday” is about as sexy as flossing. But the “everydays” are what get you from one breathtaking moment to the next. The “everydays” make up our unique stories. The “everydays” are brimming with flaws that make the art interesting. Sometimes, you just need to be reminded that you’re not the only one who gets stuck in the everyday.

P.S. My son just said “poo poo”… “diaper”…. “pee pee”…. “thank you” in that order. Does that mean that it is time to add “potty train my toddler” to the to do list?

Great Cheap Date Challenge #19

Picture Perfect Picnic

“Be an artist for the day, or just look like one. Pack a picnic, a pad of paper, watercolors, crayons, colored pencils, pastels or whatever medium you’ve always wanted to try. Set off to a scenic afternoon spot where you can both sketch and fritter the time away with good conversation and lots of color. This is all the more fun if neither of you are artistic, or if both of you are. If they aren’t too heavy, you could both bring your favorite art books to pore over after you’ve finished your own masterpieces.”

I was relishing in my Scrabble win from last night when it occurred to me that I didn’t post this weekend’s Great Cheap Date Challenge. The weather in Charlotte has been so beautiful and my sweetheart has not only been cooped up sick this week. Not only that, but his license is expired and he couldn’t get out even if he was feeling well enough to go anywhere! So, we are headed outdoors tomorrow afternoon. I will drive us, of course. And, while we’ve been gifted artistically in some ways, but coloring, drawing, painting, and anything pertaining to visual art of any kind is not exactly our forte. This ought to be fun, right?!

Weekend Projects

Every Friday, I begin to anticipate which project I am going to work on over the weekend.

Here’s what I have to choose from this week:

These are an absolutely wretched pair of Clark’s pajama pants. I inherited them by marriage, but they are completely threadbare and therefore useless. Or so it would seem….. this morning, I found them in the trash can and suddenly felt a twinge of sentiment. So, I tore them apart, and I’m going to make fabric rosettes!

This cabinet was from my first apartment. I lent it to Christyn to use as a TV stand during her stay in Charlotte. Last month, I re-inherited (is that a word? “re-inherited”?) it when she moved away along with half of the decor from her apartment which is currently taking up my entire hallway! I have so many decorative pieces that don’t match my current scheme, but I don’t have the heart to give them away. Again, I’m feeling a bit sentimental. So, I am going to repaint this cabinet and use it to store candles, vases, frames, etc.

And finally…

I have been putting together my wall gallery for months now… collecting photos, frames, and other abstract pieces. Here’s a sneak peak from when I scaled it all out on my floor over Christmas. Like how I’m using my tennis shoe and a popcorn Christmas tin to mark the dimensions? Rest assured. These will not be going on the wall.

So, these are what I plan to tackle over the weekend. I doubt I’ll finish all three, but part of the fun is anticipating which one I get to enjoy making.

Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?

Bathroom Humor

I hesitated posting about this, but hear me out. I am the “welcome woman” so to speak at my church, and I have the exciting task of finding restroom signage for the church entrance. So glamorous. I just couldn’t help compiling these hilarious decals. Seriously, some of these people are either really creative or they have way too much time on their hands.

Aptly titled “Wee Wee Dance

No Laptops on Toilet

Image via EMO Wallpapers

Which one would you pick?

Lady With A Twist

Have you seen the BHLND line of wedding gowns and party dresses from Anthropologie? They launched on Valentine’s Day (how appropriate), and I’ve been following a few sneak peaks before the big day. Aren’t these gorgeous?!

Ethereal Monarch Gown

This dress looks like it is straight out of a Jane Austen novel! According to BHLDN’s What Kind of Bride Are You survey, I have  nostalgic romantic taste which embodies “tradition and timeless beauty”. This could very well explain my obsession with all things Pride & Prejudice.

Tiered Tulip Gown

I love these red Flouncy Peep Toes from BHLDN’s Lady with a Twist collection.

Just for fun, check out the What Kind of Bride Are You link. By answering a few short questions, BHLDN will help you discover your ideal assortment of gowns, shoes, and accessories for your perfect day!

So…. what kind of bride are you?

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