The power of a quick change 

Sometimes the smallest changes have a big impact. We’re on a mission to “un-builder grade” our home. In addition to having builder grade fixtures in our house, we also have an abundance of cheap curtain rods. You know the ones.

Yes, those. And they’re in almost every room.

We’re changing those cheapies out one room at a time and changing then to prettier curtain rods with a little more character. This can be expensive, so that’s why we’re doing them a few at a time. We’ve managed to change them out in our daughters’ rooms.

This weekend, we changed out the one in our hall bath.

Here is the before:

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And the after:

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See how much impact a small change can have? I think this makes the room look more finished.

What small changes have you tried recently?

Mommy Monday: Top Five Baby Care Items for Simplifying Bath Time 

My little loves are five years old and eight months old, so my days of parenting an infant are almost gone. One of my favorite things about being the mother of an infant is bath time. What’s cuter than a baby splashing around in a tiny bathtub?

Here are my top five favorite products for baby bathing. Please feel free to comment and add your own favorites.

1. The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub with Sling 

I have used this tub now with both my children. I love how lightweight it is and how you can use it from their first bath with the sling, on up to when they’re sitting up independently. It’s also really easy to clean.

2.Honest Company Perfectly Gentle Body Wash and Shampoo

I absolutely love the sweet smell of this shampoo and body wash. It smells just like Creamsicle. Plus it’s tear free and gentle on their skin.

3.Aveeno Calming Comfort lotion

This lotion smells so good! I even borrow this myself sometimes. It makes your skin feel smooth without making you feel sticky.

4. Burt’s Bees Baby Washcloths

We received a box of these washcloths at our shower for our oldest daughter. Five years later, we are still using them with our youngest. They are soft but they also hold up well after being laundered several times. These are one of my very favorite shower gifts to give.

5. Pottery Barn Kids Breton Stripe Bath wraps

These towels are so cute. We have two of them and our five year old is always trying to steal them. They are so soft and cuddly and they look so cute on my baby.

Those are my favorite baby bath items. What are yours?

​​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Sunday Scriptures: Psalm 139:13-14

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Yesterday, in my weekend reading, I shared a devotional from Crosswalk. The devotional was based on Psalm 139:13-16.

The author of the devotional wrote about the dangers of comparing themselves to others. This topic truly hit home for me.

You see, as a blogger, I read a certain amount of blogs each week. I enjoy it, and as long as it isn’t taking the place of my family or my God, I don’t see a problem with it. You also have to be able to be content with that which God has blessed you. And in the golden age of blogging and Pinterest, that can be hard.

There is a certain Christian blogger whom I really admire, but sometimes when I read her blog, that old covetous spirit pops up and discontent starts stirring. I am content with what I have, but the comparison game sometimes makes me feel I’m not as good as some other people in the blogosphere.

It isn’t even just in the blogging community. Sometimes I face this same problem at work, where I worry I’m not as good of a teacher as so and so. Sometimes I worry I’m not as good of a parent or wife as others.

God knew us before he formed us in our mothers’ wombs, and he created each of us with different talents and gifts. If we all had the same talents and gifts, what would make us special or unique? Nothing.

Instead of being in comparison mode, I’m going to do my best to be in celebration mode. To celebrate what talents and blessings God gave me, and how He can use those things for his glory.

What does Psalm 139:13-16 say to you?

Have a great week!

Weekend reading

Good morning and good Saturday to you! I am sitting here with my family enjoying some fresh air and a beautiful view.

This week, we painted and revamped our sad front stoop, cleaned our back doors, shopped for school supplies and created a Joanna Gaines-esque sign.

I hope you’re having an amazing weekend- here is what I am reading this weekend:

Better Homes and Gardens: 10 Minute Decorating. This is not an article, but a video. You should definitely watch it; I learned a lot from it.

Also from Better Homes and Gardens: Outdoor Storage Hacks We are currently in the process of revamping our front and back yards, as well as porches. They have some great ideas.

Crosswalk: Girlfriends in God: When Comparison Kills Confidence  I got a lot out of this devotional that I read on Wednesday. Comparison is something I actively struggle with, and this devotional really gave me some new perspectives. I thought I’d post it in hopes someone else might be blessed by it, too.

Magnolia Market: Chip as a Dad: A sweet heartfelt post from a few weeks ago about Chip Gaines. I enjoyed reading it and I bet you will as well.

I’m off to spend time with my precious family now. Enjoy your weekend.

DIY: “Fixer Upper”-inspired sign 

I love the show “Fixer Upper” and Joanna Gaines’ simple, unique decorating style. I have borrowed so many ideas from her in recent months.

You may recall this post in which I posted a round up of my favorite patios on Pinterest.

The fence above our old Polywood table needed a little something. I saw this lovely sign in an episode  of “Fixer Upper.”

I decided I could make the sign. I located an old shelf board.

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I knew I wanted the sign to have a border, so I used painter’s tape to mark off a border around the edges.

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I then printed and cut out the letters.

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I attached them to the board with painter’s tape.

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Then, I painted the board. Looking back on it, I kind of wish I’d painted only the letters and left the rest natural wood.

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I noticed when removing the letters that the paint bled underneath some of them.

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I traced the letters with a pencil and filed them in with black paint.

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After the sign was dry, I attached three picture frame hangers to the back.

I cannot wait to show you where I hung the sign!! Tune in next week.

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Our front porch transformation 

We have been working on the interior of our home since we moved in three years ago. Even though we’re far from finished with the inside, we have begun working on the outside.

I tried to find a decent before picture but I could not. Our front stoop used to look like this:

Part composite board, part splintered red-stained wood. Here’s another picture.

Back in the winter, we hired a local man to rebuild the steps and to build them a little less steep. I don’t have a picture of that.

I will tell you that between work, and two children, one of whom is an infant,that banister and those steps stayed a natural wood for months.

Natural wood with muddy red paw prints anyway.

Like I said, we have wanted to improve the curb appeal of our home. Our first course of action was to paint the banister and steps. We painted the rail white and painted the steps to match our composite wood.

I really love how it turned out. We also plan to replace our front door and light fixture, but for now, we’re starting small.

We used a ready mixed paint from Sherwin-Williams called SuperDeck. The grey is a color called Kings Canyon and the white we used on the rails is just white exterior paint in a satin finish. We used a brush to paint spindles and near corners but painted the rest with a small roller.

My only advice to you is to not paint outdoors in the summer in the South, but if you do, do it in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler.

Here is our complete to do list for the front yard:

  • Have an actual sidewalk installed 
  • Buy some decorative planters for the area beside the garage and in front of the steps 
  • Install a lamp post in the front yard 
  • Replace the landscaping with something lower maintenance 
  • Get a decorative house number sign 
  • Replace front door 
  • Replace light fixture 

Check back soon for more updates! 

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Week in Review Wednesday 

Hi all! I hope you’re having a wonderful week. We have had a great weekend.

We started our weekend with Emorie’s Vacation Bible School commencement. This was her third year and she loved it!

On Saturday, we played “beat the rain” and scrambled to complete our yard projects before the downpours started.

We almost didn’t make it. I can’t wait to show you what we did.

Aubrey really decided to throw me a curve ball and pull up onto her feet for the first time.

The Asiatic lilies in our backyard are blooming and they smell amazing!

This giant blue heron decided to pay us a visit.

And these beautiful little sisters made me smile with their cuddles.

I hope your week is going well! See you tomorrow!

Hair accessory organization 

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls, and I’m convinced hair bows are taking over my house. They’re everywhere! Even Aubrey has a ton of the things and she doesn’t have much hair. 

Emorie has an Ikea Hemnes dresser. It has two little drawers at the top.

The top drawer on the left used to house her swimsuits and the one on the right housed her headbands.

Neither was a good solution. The swimsuits were always bunching up and hiding one another, and the headbands were always sliding around or getting squashed.

I relocated the swimsuits to one of the fabric bins in her closet and weeded out the hairbows that were looking worse for wear. I hung the ones she still wears on a long ribbon behind her door.

Then I sectioned off the drawers with some trusty basket drawer organizers from Wally World. These are super cheap and they are so useful.

Her headbands and hairbows are sorted and stored by color. There was also room in the drawers for her sunglasses and costume jewelry as well.

I used two divider baskets to store hair ties and clips in her vanity table drawer.

All the materials used to organize these accessories sets were already in our home. This organizational project didn’t cost me a dime.

I’m really happy with how this turned out. I hope it’s going to Save us a lot of time searching for headbands.

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Mommy Monday: Five Cheap DIYs that will make your backyard an awesome play space 

We are slowly but surely trying to turn our back porch into our happy place and our back yard into a haven for our family. We currently have a wood play set for our kids but nothing else for them to really play with and enjoy. Here are five ideas I would truly love to incorporate into our back yard.

1. Paver hopscotch 

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Actually, this picture from City Moms contains three things I’d love to create in my own backyard for my girls: a paver hopscotch, a flower garden, and an outdoor chalkboard. The paver hopscotch could be made with concrete pavers and spray paint, and fairly inexpensively.

2. Outdoor chalkboard 

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What a neat looking play space for kids! The organizer in me is loving the hooks for hanging sand toys and chalkboard supplies.

3. Music wall 

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Your neighbors may not love this one, but your kids will. There is an orchard not far from us that has a music wall and our daughter loves it! You could do this cheaply and could probably find most of these items at yard sales and thrift stores.

4. Mud kitchens 

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How cool would this be? I would have spent so much time playing with this kitchen back when I was a kid. You could probably find a lot of these items at the Habitat for Humanity Resale store. 

5. Fairy Gardens 

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Fairy gardens are kind of trendy right now. I can honestly understand the appeal. It’s like a cute little miniature world. Like a doll house with flowers. My little girl has been interested in making a fairy garden for awhile now.

I hope you have enjoyed this top five list! Have a great Monday.

​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Scripture Sunday: Philippians 4:8

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Last week, I opened my devotional to the verse and lesson for the day, and I found that it was based on Philippians 4:8. Imagine my surprise when the verse of the day on my YouVersion Bible App on my phone was ALSO Philippians 4:8. Clearly, there was something in that verse that I needed.

When I was in school years ago, I had a teacher who told me she used to recite this verse to herself each morning while she was getting ready for school. She did this as a reminder to herself to keep her thoughts and her mind pure throughout her school day.

I’ll admit this is an area in which I struggle. One of many areas. I am working to eliminate the bad and non-God pleasing music, movies and television from my life. You know how when you were a kid and you sang “Be careful little eyes what you see…” It’s the same message.  I’m starting to see how things that aren’t true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy don’t just hurt my walk with God, but they hurt my testimony and they weigh me down.

This week, I am challenging myself to think upon these things. Won’t you join me and challenge yourself as well?