s w e e t s.

Well y’all, it’s no secret, I LOVE dessert. Truly. If sugar was a nutritious and healthy substance for our bodies, I’d be the healthiest person around:) And if I was the type of person that could eat anything I wanted at any time of the day and not gain a pound, I would have dessert before and after every single meal. I’ve prayed more times than I can count that God would take away my sweet tooth and make me totally disgusted at the thought of sweets. I know, both weird and crazy. I would just rather the desire for sweets to just go away than practice the discipline of saying no….BUT since the love and craving for desserts hasn’t left me, I guess I’ll just continue to enjoy them:)

My husband and I are young adult pastors at our church, and once a month we have our leaders over to eat, enjoy each others company, and dream about what we want the future of the young adult ministry to look like. And when there are people in our home, there is almost always food! I love to make food for people. Especially desserts:) So for tonight, I wanted to keep everything pretty simple and sort of picnic like. I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest of strawberry shortcake and based the food for the night around that of course. Instead of doing a large dish of dessert, I wanted to do little portions because I think it’s less intimidating and more inviting to eat that way:) I did half strawberry shortcake and half dirt cake because let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love either of those options?!

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How cute are desserts when they are in small portions?! Typically I would have done cute little mason jars, but since there are a lot of people, I thought for tonight plastic cups would make an easier clean up at the end of the night. So, as promised, I am going to post the recipes for both. I have already tried them…I couldn’t resist, and they are delicious! These are so great for any party, gathering, baby shower, etc. Super easy, incredibly inexpensive, and delish:)

Here are the recipes for both:

Strawberry shortcake.

1 box of angel food cake // 1 tbs sugar // 1 1/4C milk // 1 box of cheesecake flavored instant pudding // 1 carton of cool whip // 1 large carton of strawberries

-bake the angel food cake per box instructions

-slice strawberries, put them in a bowl, and sprinkle the sugar on them

-make the cheesecake pudding per instructions on the box

-once angel food cake is cool, cut up into small pieces

-layer the ingredients in the cup (cake, pudding, cool whip, strawberries)

(recipe is compliments of “uncommon design” found on Pinterest)

Dirt cake.

4oz cream cheese softened // 1/4C butter softened // 1/2C powdered sugar // 8oz cool whip // 1 box instant white chocolate pudding mix // 1 1/2C milk // 2 sleeves of Oreos

-smash up Oreos in a bowl. don’t remove the filling

-mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar in a bowl. add cool whip until blended.

-in a separate bowl mix pudding mix with milk, once combined add it to cream cheese mixture

-layer your ingredients in your cup or jar. Oreos, pudding, top with Oreos. Repeat if you have room. Then for garnish add a full Oreo at the top

 

There you have it! Hope you all enjoy, and have a great weekend!

 

t h e m i d d l e.

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Y’all, every few days I always intend on posting something new. And then every few days goes by, and then another few days go by, and I realize I haven’t written in what seems like forever. Life has been a bit crazy the last few weeks, and I am promising myself I will get back on track over here at some point!:) I actually really enjoy writing…way more than taking photos, trying to edit photos, and then posting photos! Haha, I guess it’s somewhat therapeutic for me to type my thoughts out and try to organize them so they make sense to you!

So anyways, I started to post this photo on instagram earlier with a caption that ended up being like 10 paragraphs long, so I decided writing a blog about it would be more efficient:) I am on week 3 now of my new work out program, and I am actually enjoying it a lot, surprisingly. But, because sometimes habits are just hard to break, I can’t seem to kick my sugar addiction!! Ah! It’s so funny because I will look at myself in the mirror and feel instantly defeated and resolve that I’m never eating anything else other than celery and lettuce. I know, I know, so extreme. But after eating a mini Twix, a mini milky way, and a couple of now and laters after lunch (the candy jar was screaming for me to come take candy out of it, I couldn’t say no) I was like that’s it, that’s my last piece of unhealthy food until I lose 20lbs! Hours later I find myself staring at my freshly baked sugar cookies in the kitchen, and I am presented with a choice. The choice to say no because I already had sweets today AND I know how it’s going to make me feel and the downward mental spiral that decision is going to take me on, or I could say yes and feel terrible and start the downward journey in my head about how I am never going to reach my goal weight, I am never going to get healthy, and working out is never going to actually work for me. You know, the usual.

All of that to say, I couldn’t resist that dense, soft on the inside and lightly crisp and crunchy on the outside, mouth-watering sugar cookie just staring me in the face..so I did what most would do…I said no. Not today.

YEAH RIGHT! I took that cookie and devoured it like it was the last thing I was ever going to eat for the rest of my life. And I felt great about it….for about 30 seconds. And then when it was all said and done, I hated that I did that. Not because you should never eat a cookie, but because I didn’t exercise my self control. I had no discipline in that moment. And I hate when I feel like food has control over me, when in all reality, I have control over it! But, what’s done is done. So let’s move past it and get on with the rest of our day (I’m speaking as though you all had the exact same experience today too!:) )

Bringing it back to this photo, I wanted to keep posting photos of myself on the journey to becoming healthier. I love a good before and after. There’s nothing like them! But how often do we show photos of what the journey looks like after we start and before it ends? That freaking middle portion of everyones journey is the part we never want to show because it’s kind of messy, it’s incredibly frustrating, and honestly, I don’t want a progress photo, I just want to see the end result! But the “in between” is so important and so necessary because if you ever want to get to the end, you have to go through the process first.

So with that said, This photo was taken this morning right after I had worked out, curled my hair, and put some make up on before getting dressed for work. I am wearing my husbands sweatpants….let’s talk about why my husbands sweats fit me please?! I honestly wear them because they are a little loose, and they make me “feel” smaller than I actually am. I’m a real person too folks, I don’t totally love my body YET so yeah, wearing bigger pants that hide some things and make me feel smaller are my vibe right now! Also, if you zoom in, and use a magnifying glass, and then zoom some more and maybe even squint a little, you can maybe see that one small portion of half an ab on my stomach!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! And the reason I am even pointing it out is because last night I was just talking about how I’ve been working out for 2+ weeks now and nothing has changed. In fact, I feel like I’ve actually gained weight, like how does that even happen?! But then I saw this photo, and I was like, wait a hot second, is that the beginning of what could be one singular ab in there?! I THINK IT IS!!

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I think it’s important to celebrate even the littlest of things on our journey. Even if it is just three quarters of an ab, it’s worth celebrating because it signifies growth and progress. It’s almost like it’s a sign that reminds you to keep going, you got this, you can do this, and it’s working! Now, would I like to do one 10 minute ab video and walk away with a 6 pack? ABSOLUTELY I WOULD! But in what world does that even happen? The answer is none. It doesn’t happen. Hard work produces results. Even if the results take longer than you want them to, you will see them eventually if you keep on pressing.

I know for me, I have had two babies and with those babies came two c sections. I would like to believe that my stomach can be flat and toned and strong again. I would like to believe that one day it isn’t going to feel like jello everytime I touch it. I would like to believe that even after having kids, my body can still be the best it has ever been. And for all I know, that could definitely be true. But right now, I have extra skin on my stomach that just hasn’t gone away yet, I have fat in other areas of my body that I didn’t even know existed until I accidentally looked in the mirror after I took a shower and probably haven’t looked in the mirror again since then because I was traumatized!:) Just kidding, I wasn’t traumatized but I was definitely alarmed. But I think part of the journey to loving yourself and all that comes with you, both internally and externally, is embracing who you are and where you are on the way to where you’re going.

There will always be someone else who has a flatter stomach, smaller legs, better hips, more toned thighs, a better butt…and the list goes on. But comparison doesn’t get you anywhere. Scrolling through instagram desiring to have a stomach like hers doesn’t make your stomach any different. I want to encourage you to figure out what you want, and start making daily decisions that take you in that direction. I want to be fit, but I want to be healthy to. So for me, I am going to keep trying and keep doing my best to move forward, move forward right past that sugar cookie next time!:)

Hope y’all have a great night!

 

 

e x t r a r o o m.

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Hi everyone! I feel like it has been forever since my last blog post! My mom came to visit and was here for a week and a half, praise God! So I was trying to soak up all the time I could with her and my kiddos. She left yesterday and my youngest Beckham said “Mema got on the airplane and that makes me feel so sad.” If that doesn’t make you cry….!!!!! Needless to say, my boys love their mema:) But now that spring break is over and everyone is back to normal, I’m back to writing! I wanted to update y’all on the room I posted about on my instagram a few days ago.

We moved into our house about 7 months ago, and this room has been vacant since! What you see in that photo is all that is in that room…and the tv isn’t even plugged in so there is no real function in this space. Oh, and also there is a closet full of toys that my kids never actually play with but…who needs to see that right?:) Anyways, I haven’t filled this room for a few reasons, one being money (which is always the main reason for everything) and mostly yeah, just not having money deliberately set aside to complete this room. Also, I have made a commitment to myself that I will not in any way be impulsive with any room in our house when it comes to furnishing it and decorating it. I have lived our entire marriage being impulsive, and I end up with a bunch of stuff I like that will get me by and not stuff I love that will last. So I am determined to be different this time:) I also do not like to start a space if I can’t finish it all in the same breath! So I guess thats another reason I haven’t done this room because in my mind, it’s all or nothing. Anyone else like that when it comes to designing and decorating your home? It’s not a bad thing to have phases for each room, but for some reason the before and after is so much better to me if it can evolve like a 30 minute hgtv show. The people leave the house and within a 30 minute episode they walk back into their home and it’s completely renovated and redecorated and beautiful. So…if they can do it on tv, I should be able to do it in real life right?

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Haha, that’s totally unrealistic. So, I am going to be doing this room in a few different phases. I wanted to show y’all a “mood board” I put together for this room. I put mood board in quotations because I have absolutely NO IDEA how to make one. I downloaded this app and played around with it for a few minutes, and I kind of gave up and just stopped with what I had created in 5 minutes. It’s totally not great. But hey, everything is a process right? Give me a few weeks and hopefully I’ll be much better at it!

In the photo above, The wall to the left of the window will be where the chase of the couch lands. I want to do a gallery all across that wall. I’m not sure what I want in the frames, either framed art from my kiddos or some more family photos. You can never have too many pictures of your family in your house! I also want to do bamboo roll up shades on all of the windows. I edit my photos so the walls look a bit more gray than they are in real life. My goal is to make all of the walls look the color they are in my edited photos! So a nice coat of paint is on the list as well for this room! I am going to keep the tv where it is and get upholstered swivel chairs for each side of the tv. I don’t know what it is about a swivel chair….but I totally love them! Other than that, I will do the couch, a rug, a coffee table, some art on the walls and then my favorite part….lots of accessorizing! I love accessorizing a room…it’s the most fun part of a project to me.

So with that said, I am going to show you the mood board I put together. Don’t laugh. Or do. Honestly, it’s so not good but I’m totally fine with everyone knowing that! I’m a work in progress folks! Photoshop is NOT my gift, but I will continue to be committed to learning it until I’m great at it! So here is the board…

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We ordered our couch a week ago and it should be here by next week! It’s not real leather, but it will be so great for the kids because it’s wipeable!!! No stains, praise God. I’m not fully settled on a coffee table…I love the concrete one in the photo, but I’m also thinking about a wicker storage ottoman as well. I want to make sure this space is totally functional for kids and not just a pretty room that I never want my boys to be in! The frames will go on the gallery wall. I’m not sold on black but I am very much leaning towards black or a wood wash frame. The rug is one of my favorites, so much so that I already have it in our guest room, and I may just use it in this room as well. I am the type of person when I find something I love, I  buy a lot of it and use it in every room in our house! I bought a faux fern plant from target, and I’m pretty sure I have 3 or 4 of them throughout my house:) I mean, when you know you love it, why not right?!

Well, there you have it. My very elementary mood board that sums up the look I’m going for in that room:) If y’all have any questions on where anything is from, please feel free to ask in the comments! I can’t wait to post more once I start getting this room put together. I hope y’all have an amazing day! Talk to you soon!

m e a l p r e p.

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Well…cheers to meal prepping this week, starting a new workout program, and making healthier choices! My original dream for my blog was that it would be all things life. Because the truth is, we are all most likely doing more than just one thing in our lives. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am passionate about a lot of things. I’m passionate about being a great wife, being a great mom, being a great pastor, attempting to be healthy…I’m passionate about design and creating spaces that people love to be in. I think it’s safe to say that I have a lot of things I’m passionate about so that’s what I envisioned for this platform…a little bit of all things life.

So, to add some more to my feed, I wanted to share with you what I am currently doing to attempt to build a healthier lifestyle. I am a lover of sweets. Always have been. Always will be. Like, the kind of person that needs dessert before and after every meal, with every snack, and truly just all day long:) Please feel free to judge me, I’m judging myself right now:) I have just always loved sugar, I mean, who doesn’t right?! It’s just so good and so addicting and I just need it in my life! I have tried countless diets, countless eating fads, I mean at this point, you name it, I’ve tried it. I’m the person that, in my mind, everything sounds totally easy and doable, and I’m convinced that I can overnight go from eating sweets 10x a day and not working out to cutting everything out of my regular diet and working out twice a day. So extreme and so not the way to do it, but in my head it sounds simple!

Well, I have reached a point now, which I have reached more times than I can count in my life, where I just feel like I need to make healthier choices. Not even just to be thinner or for the number on the scale to be less. I just want to feel and be healthy all around. For those of you that have kids, have you ever noticed that you are less irritable and more energetic and fun when you are fueling your body with the right food and working out a few times a week? That is me for sure. I am just all around a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and just a better person when I treat my body right. And I’m not saying treating it right means you eliminate everything you love to eat, I just believe everything should be done in moderation.

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I have been an “intermittent faster” since late November of last year. It has worked for some of my friends so I thought, why not, lets try something else! I have really enjoyed it a lot actually. It took a few months for me to really adapt to it, but now it’s just a part of my life…for now anyways:) So my original eating window was from 12-8 every day. Then I started not getting hungry as often so my window for a while went to 2-7. Then, I just decided that wasn’t sustainable for me, so I’m currently doing 10-7 and I’m totally loving it. It works really well for me, and that’s the key, finding what works best for you and your body. Just because it works great for someone else does not mean its the best fit for you. So with that said, I wanted to give y’all a layout of what my daily food intake looks like. I am always googling ways to lose weight or to get healthy or what to eat and not eat, so I figured this is one less thing you will have to google!

So as far as my workout goes, I recently downloaded the Kayla Itsines App “Sweat” on my phone and I just started it last night. Dear Lord, my entire body hurts…but in the best way! It’s $20 a month and you can do it from home with minimal equipment which is my kind of workout! As far as my food goes, my sister is the one who really inspired me to do intermittent fasting and to start meal prepping and incorporate more greens into my life! So when she was in town visiting us a few weeks ago, she made us this salad that totally blew my mind! I don’t typically do raw veggies, but what she put together was so life changing, I had to make it for myself!!

So with that said, I have decided to change what I am eating. I start eating at 10am every day. But before that, I drink a full cup of water, and then I do coffee with fat free half/half or regular depending on what I have in my fridge:) and one stevia. Sometimes I have a couple cups of coffee in the morning to start…because sometimes you just need the extra caffeine! For breakfast, I either do overnight oats ( I’ll list the recipe below) or a yogurt with a banana. I’m not usually starving in the morning so it just depends on how hungry I am! For lunch I meal prep a salad. ( See recipe below) For a snack when I get home from work around 3 I usually do an apple with some natural peanut butter or just a bowl of fruit. For dinner I will make a lean protein and some roasted veggies. I usually just throw some stuff together and make a meal out of it for dinner. I just figure if its a protein with some greens, we are good!:) I’ll do sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and brown rice for a carb sometimes as well!

Ah, that was a lot of information! Thanks for sticking with me on this! I am going to post a couple recipes down below. For me y’all, eating and exercise is a journey. I have never been able to master them perfectly, but I am just determined to keep on trying.

A few words of encouragement, don’t be so hard on yourself. I am my biggest critic. Like if after one ab workout I don’t have a 6 pack I just feel defeated and I want to quit! Or if a few days into my new regimen I have a brownie, I feel like a failure and then I just give up. But the truth is, none of us are perfect, we are all human, and sometimes, you just need a cookie:) If you eat something that wasn’t a part of your healthy meal plan, enjoy it since you’re eating it, and move on and do better the next day. Becoming healthy isn’t an overnight fix. It’s making one healthy decision at a time. Instead of a burger and fries, try a burger and a side salad. Instead of eating a whole piece of cake, try splitting it in half and sharing it with someone. It’s consistent small decisions in the right direction that make a big difference! And don’t deprive yourself. I refuse to make the choice to cut everything I love to eat cold turkey because I just know I won’t do it…and to be honest, I don’t want to do it! So for me, since I love sweets, I bought a bag of dark, dark chocolates that are low in calories/carbs/sugar/fat, and I enjoy one a day. Its enough for me to gratify my sweet tooth, and it makes me feel like I’m not living in total deprivation.

Okay, I could write a book on this topic because it’s something I have been working towards for what feels like my entire life! But, as promised, here are the recipes of the things I am currently eating, enjoy:)

OVERNIGHT OATS

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(this is a photo from “hungry girl” on google images, I haven’t taken my own yet)

In a mason jar

-1/2C of quick oats // 1C of unsweetened vanilla almond milk // 2TSP of chia seeds // 1 stevia // Stir it all around, put the lid on, and stick in the fridge overnight. The milk is per preference, I like mine to be a little bit more liquidy so sometimes I add a little more milk in the morning to it. I top it with blueberries, raspberries, bananas, the options are endless.

SAVORY SALAD

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This is what I meal prep for both me and my husband for the week for lunch. Salad and a fruit bowl. It’s soooooo yummy!

-In a meal prep container (from Walmart or amazon) // spring mix // raw broccoli // raw carrots // raw mushrooms // cucumber // blueberries // sunflower seeds // blue cheese // lean protein (chicken, turkey, shrimp) // french & ranch mixed per serving size. You can totally do whatever veggies and protein you like the best. These are just the ones I love lately:)

Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoy! Remember, it’s just one healthy decision at a time. You can do it!

p a r e n t i n g.

Well y’all, I totally had a fun, kid friendly project on the calendar to share with you yesterday, BUT my youngest son, Beckham, casually decided to take a popcorn kernel and shove it up his nose so….yeah, our afternoon got hijacked with a ridiculous trip to the pediatrics office. I don’t know how many of you reading this are parents, but if you are, our understanding from one parent to the next is so universal. We get it. We get each other. We get that the struggle is so real. But in the middle of all of the chaos we experience as parents, there is just something in us that can’t help but to love our wild little bundles of joy fiercely. Even when you are trying to catch 15 minutes of sleep but get abruptly woken up to a bleeding nose with a popcorn kernel lodged in it…that love is uncompromised.

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The boys love watching movies and eating popcorn, I mean, who doesn’t right? So I picked them up from school yesterday, and we went home to watch a movie and naturally I popped some popcorn. I was sitting in the middle of my boys, and I may have dosed off for a second. To my defense, I have been sick for almost 2 weeks, and every day I come home completely exhausted. I am positive I am not the first parent to fall asleep during a movie with my kids…or the first parent that selfishly suggests watching a movie with the full intention of catching a few minutes of rest during it! I’m saying this to justify my actions:) Anyways, a few minutes into my nap, I woke up to Beckham crying and blood rushing from his nose. Now I’m really awake! He informs me that he is bleeding, as if I couldn’t see it, and says he has an “owie.” I asked him what happened, and he pointed to the bowl of popcorn with only kernels left in in and says he shoved one up his nose! WHY?! I obviously start freaking out, no part of me is calm in this moment, which now makes both of the boys totally frantic. Great parenting move on my part:)

In my mind, I just feel like I can get it out with my finger, so I proceed with my brilliant plan. Obviously it doesn’t work, I just end up pushing it up further. So then I decided to demonstrate how to blow your nose to him in hopes he would follow what I’m doing. So I instruct him to blow his nose…..he sniffs, of course. So now its wayyyyyyyyy up there. I was like “why would you do this Beckham” and then I thought about it more and was like, “why wouldn’t he do this?” He’s 3, he was unsupervised, he’s curious, and has absolutely no fear. Him doing this made the most sense.

Have any of you ever seen the movie “Marley and Me?” I remember watching that movie over and over and over always thinking how much fun it would be to have a dog that is that entertaining that you could write newspaper columns on them daily. Well, I don’t have a dog that I can write about yet, but Beckham is that kid…that kid that I could write a newspaper column about every single day. He is the kid that you have stories for days on because he’s absolutely fearless, incredibly stubborn, and has the most will power to do what he wants to do whether he’s supposed to or not. And that my friends is why he did what he did. Because he wanted to. So, to make a long story a little less long, I ran out of the house with both boys, Parker was in his pajamas and Beckham was wearing a very wet pull up and his brothers pajama shirt because thats what was within reach as I was sprinting out of the house. No shoes, blood all over his face, and me trying to instruct my 3 year old to ONLY breathe through his mouth and not his nose.

We made it to the dr, I looked like a crazy woman running through the door frantically with a child that was half dressed and dried blood all over his face because I didn’t take the time to wipe it off. I also thought it would get me seen sooner if I made the situation look a bit more dramatic:) It was a super easy fix, they just squirted saline up one side of his nose and watched the kernel fall out of the other side. What an experience.

To all of my fellow parents out there, listen, I think we are super hard on ourselves often, but the truth is, parenting is hard work! There are so many great books out there to read about how to parent, advice from people that have been there and done that, but until you are in it, until you are experiencing it for yourself, nothing truly prepares you for what you are in for when you become a mom or a dad until you do it yourself. I’m just grateful every day when I put my kids to bed and they are alive and well. I feel like if they are breathing, I did something right!

I used to babysit all of the time before I got married. I was so confident that when I became a mom, I would totally know what to do. I was certain I had gained all of the knowledge and experience I needed from watching everyone else’s kids….I got this. And then I became a mom. And my pride was quickly diminished. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Like I said, nothing can fully prepare you to be a parent until you are in it and learning from your own experience as a parent. And not to mention, just when you think you have gotten parenting down to a science, your kids change and evolve and what you thought worked doesn’t work anymore!

I remember when I just had Parker, he was a baby at the time, a mom told me one of the wisest things I have ever heard, and to this day I have never forgotten it. She told me, “The days are long but the years are short, so enjoy all of it.” And it has proven to be so true. There are days that feel so long. Like the days where your son sticks a popcorn kernel up his nose, or the days where every response to what you say results in a tantrum, or the days where you wake up longing for bedtime. I get it. I’ve been there. We’ve probably all been there. But holding my firstborn as an infant seems so long ago. In the moment it felt like the days were a million hours long. The days where you feel like all you’re doing is feeding your baby, changing diapers, cleaning spit up off of yourself and everything else, longing for an uninterrupted shower…but then you blink and your dropping your child off for their first day of kindergarten. WHAT THE HECK!

I say all of this to say, parents, you’re doing a great job. Even on the days when we feel like we’ve don’t terrible. Hang in there. More days than not I feel like I could have done so much better as a mom. But then my kids shower me with hugs and kisses and compliments and I think to myself, maybe I’m not as bad as I thought. Maybe I didn’t miss the mark that much today. Give yourself some grace. And remember, the days are long, but the years are short. So try your best to enjoy all of it. The chaos, the calm, the crazy, and every moment in between. Because the truth is, there will probably be a day when we long for the chaos of having little ones running around the house. I know I will.

Anyways, I hope y’all have a great day. And if your child gets something lodged up their nose sometime, please feel free to reach out to me because I know exactly how you feel:) Talk to you soon!

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m u d r o o m.

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Hey y’all! I finally woke up this morning and felt a little better than I have been the last week. I am not one to just sit and rest, I like to be busy so being sick has not been easy! But, I’m just thankful that today has been a good day so far:)

Anyways, I wanted to spend this week talking about living with kids while maintaining an organized, clean home. There have been seasons in parenting where having a picked up house has seemed absolutely impossible. There are still some days where I feel like all I’m doing is picking up the same toys over and over again, so I just give up and let the house be messy. That’s just life with kids though, right? For those of us that like to have some sort of organization in spite of the messes that kids bring, I have tried to find ways to make my house look the way I want while still being kid friendly. One way that I have been able to achieve this is having multiple places throughout the house where my kiddos things can be stored but it still looks stylish:) So, in honor of being a mom, having young boys, but still incredibly passionate about esthetics, I’m going to spend this week on how to make your house both functional and esthetically pleasing even with little ones running through it all of the time!

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The first space I’m going to share this week is our mudroom. I posted a photo of this room beneath our staircase last week, but I wanted to provide you with the sources and just explain what that room is used for. I was going to use it for a cleaning supply closet and extra food storage at first. But the longer I stared at it, the more I felt like it could be used for something way more functional. I was at Ikea and I had walked by these shoe storage units and I felt like I could totally do something creative with them. I have seen this units for years but never had a use for them…until now! The space is very narrow so I needed some shelving in there that was thin and wasn’t going to swallow the whole room. So I decided to get two of these units and they fit perfectly in there! Not only are they cute, but they provide a ton of storage for books, craft paper/supplies, shoes, etc.

The shoe storage units were my first purchase for that space and from there, everything else around it kind of evolved. Its a multi purpose space, coats/crafts/shoes/coloring…but the boys totally love it, and it’s pretty easy to keep clean and organized. It’s an esthetically pleasing, kid friendly space and I absolutely love it!

So anyways, with all of that said, I’m going to list the sources below. I have always wanted a mudroom, I don’t even know why, I just think they are so much fun to decorate. I had designed a really great one in our house in Houston but since we moved, I never got to enjoy it. So when we moved into this house, I was pretty bummed that it didn’t have a cute space to make into a mudroom. The laundry room was too small and the thought of this area beneath the stairs being a mudroom hadn’t crossed my mind….yet:) Sometimes it’s nice to not be impulsive when designing a space. I took my time trying to figure out what this space should be, and I’m super happy with the outcome! So, with all of that said, here are most of the sources for that room! Enjoy:)

Hemnes Shoe Cabinet $99 // https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60156121/?query=HEMNES&icid=iba|us|unbxdsuggestion|201811132211556208_1

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Organizational Wall

-Dry Erase Calendar $29.99 // https://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Storage-Organization/Memo-Chalkboards/Monthly-Calendar-Dry-Erase-Board/p/80770454

Black Cork Board $8.99 (I spray painted the board) https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Painting-Surfaces/Cork/Cork-Board-with-Wood-Frame—17%22-x-23%22/p/24432

-Paper Holder $12.99 // https://www.target.com/p/metal-wall-pocket-black-project-62-153/-/A-52808808

-Coloring Utensils Basket $36.99 // https://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Storage-Organization/Baskets/Long-Black-Banded-Metal-Basket/p/80769243

-Mason Jars $10.99 12pk  (holding the coloring supplies) https://www.target.com/p/ball-12ct-16oz-glass-mason-jar-with-lid-and-band-wide-mouth/-/A-50624128

 

-Rug Runner $39.99 // https://www.athome.com/b532-theo-medallion-2.2×6/124240716.html#q=rug+runner&sz=150&start=1

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-Wall Hooks $6.99 // https://www.target.com/p/wall-hook-soft-iron-threshold-153/-/A-51989309

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And there you have it! The only things I didn’t list are the two metal decorative art pieces above the crayons because target no longer sells them. They are from the hearth and hand collection last fall! Hope y’all enjoy, and stay tuned for more ways to make your house stylish, functional, and kid friendly!

soulmate sundays.

Are any of you “Jane the Virgin” fans? I remember I was getting my hair done years ago, and the little space my hair girl rented had a tv in it, and she turned that show on the whole time I was getting my hair done. I had never heard of it, but by the end of my five hour hair appointment (I have a lot of hair) I was hooked. I watched as much as I could on Netflix until I was caught up to tv and then I had to do what we all hate doing…wait week to week for the next episode! It’s the worst right? It’s totally worth it though because each week it just keeps getting better. Anyways, if you know anything about the show, I’m hesitant to say this because I know not everyone agrees, but I’m totally team Jane and Rafael. They are my favorite. Always have been. And as of today, always will be:) But watching their tv relationship gives you all kinds of feels. Like they are so cute, so romantic, so in love, and ah, it’s just so good. Like the kind of good that starts to make you look at your relationship and wonder why your husband isn’t as romantic. Or why he doesn’t seem as in love with you as Rafeal does with Jane, or why it doesn’t seem like you both just stare at each other in complete adoration all the time. Maybe I’m the only one that has fallen into the trap of comparison when it comes to relationships. Or maybe I’m not. Either way, it’s happened to me many times, more times than I can count, and let me just remind you as I remind myself, there are no perfect relationships out there. None.

So instead of comparing our relationships and wondering why so and so has what seems to be better than ours, what if we committed ourselves to bettering what we have, not what we wish we had.

I remember before I got married always asking married people for advice. I was so intrigued by the thought of being with one person for the rest of your life. It seemed both crazy and wonderful all at the same time. I’ll never forget what one person told me years and years ago. I had asked her if she is still crazy in love with her husband after 20 years of marriage. I was obviously expecting her to say something like….”Yes” or “Oh my gosh I’m even more in love than I was when we first got married,” but that was not what she said. You want to know what she said? Her response was “I’m committed.” I feel like my jaw dropped in that moment because I immediately resorted to wow, she isn’t in love anymore, she is just stuck because of her commitment to stay with her husband forever. Thats awful. I don’t want that. I want the in love, mushy, romantic, finish each others sentences, want to spend every waking moment with each other kind of love. You know, the love story in the movies or tv shows. That’s the kind of love I want.

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That’s the kind of love we all long for though right? The perfect fairytale kind of love. I don’t want to say that doesn’t exist, because I don’t totally believe that to be true. I just think the way love is portrayed to us through movies and tv doesn’t exist. Love isn’t without a fight. It isn’t without struggle. It isn’t perfect. It’s messy. Its hard. But it’s absolutely worth it if you are willing to stay committed.

After almost 11 years of marriage, I understand what my friend meant by her response. It wasn’t that her and her husband don’t love each other or that they aren’t in love anymore. I think what she meant is that they are committed to their marriage when they feel in love and when they don’t feel in love. They are committed when it seems easy and when it gets really hard. They are committed through thick and thin, highs and lows, and everything in between. And that to me, that’s real love. Real love isn’t just what you feel when you have butterflies or when you wake up to a love note and flowers just because. Real love is what fights to get through the hard times because you refuse to give up. Real love says I will do whatever it takes because I’m committed to you for the rest of our lives. Real love loves when it’s easy AND when it’s hard.

Real love isn’t only a feeling. It’s a commitment to love even when you don’t feel it. 

Throughout my own marriage there have been so many seasons where love feels easy and so many where love feels hard. I’m glad I had a friend that told me that before I got married, but I wish I would have understood what it meant. Maybe it would have helped me navigate the earlier years of my marriage better if I wouldn’t have set such unrealistic expectations of what a healthy marriage looks like based on what I watched on tv.

What I’ve learned is that loving each other looks different in each relationship because love translates to each of us differently. So my encouragement to you today is to do your best to not compare your relationship with other relationships. Comparison doesn’t do you any favors. Trust me, I’ve done it enough times to know:) Stay committed to YOUR relationship. Marriage really is a beautiful thing, truly. I remember thinking how wild it was to be with one person for the rest of your life before I got married. Now, after nearly 11 years, I still think its wild to be with the same person for the rest of your life. Wildly fun, wildly adventurous…I guess I’ve just learned over the years that life is what you make it. And the same goes for your relationships. My husband and I have made a commitment to one another to do whatever it takes to make our relationship great. Its not without fault. Its far from perfect. But we are in this for life, so instead of letting life just get by and having a mediocre marriage, why not fight to make it the best, most exhilarating, most meaningful relationship you have right?

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Okay, I could write for days on this, but I’m going to end here for tonight:) We will talk more on relationships next soulmate sunday! Have a great week!