20 February 2015

I'm Back

 ....in Minneapolis. 

It was just over two years ago while living in Minneapolis that I wrote this post about how we were going to have to leave. We'd come up here so my husband could go to law school but after a year and a half of school, his business back in Florida was struggling with him being so far away. So he got a leave of absence from school and we moved back down to Florida, hoping that we would eventually find some way to get back up to Minnesota so Rob could complete his degree. 

Like I said, that was a couple years ago though, and we quickly got very comfortable back in our normal life. Work got really good again, life was really good, and school started feeling like this unrealistic dream that we talked less and less about. We were making plans to buy a house in Ponte Vedra (a pretty little beach town near where we lived in Jacksonville). Florida was once again feeling like our permanent home. 

Only something about all that just wasn't completely settling with us. There was always this tiny, nagging little thought that we didn't actually want to give up on this goal that we'd started years ago when we'd packed up our life and headed over a thousand miles away to start law school. For one thing it would feel like all of that had been a waste. And more importantly we didn't want to shut the door on any possible opportunities that that degree could open up. 

So, here we are. 
We talked, we planned, we prayed...then last month we once again packed up our life and headed back up to Minnesota so that Rob can complete the degree he started out to get. 

It feels kind of crazy to be back here. We're quickly remembering all the things that were kind of a drag about life as a full-time student. But we're really excited that we will be able to complete this goal that we set. 

It also feels kind of crazy to be back here, sitting in front of my blog. My break was longer than I'd planned but with the move and everything it just took longer than I'd anticipated to get back here. I know I said when I left that it wasn't goodbye, that I just needed a short break. And at the time that's what I thought. But being away gave me time to really step back and think, and realize that all the reasons why I'd wanted time away in the first place are all still there, so as hard as it is I've decided to make this break a permanent one. 

I started this blog exactly four years ago this month. My oldest was in Kindergarten, my twins were 3 months old, and it seemed fun to have something that was just kind of for me. I feel like I kind of stumbled into blogging- before starting mine I had a blog to update family members on what was going on with us, but it was private and I updated it like a handful of times a year. Blogging about a hobby of mine never crossed my mind. But a couple times when we visited Rob's family my brothers-in-law talked with him about blogging for work and stuff, and I listened to them talk about how to start a blog, and how to get it noticed and just different things, and I was thinking to myself, "That sounds fun; I think I could do that." So one day months later I just did. {So thanks James & Jason- you guys inspired me!!:)}

I can't even begin to describe how much I have loved having this place. It has been so fun to discover that I'm not really as crazy as I've always thought, and that there are a ton of other people out there who are just as nuts as I am about decorating and interior design. I'm far from "making it" as a blogger- as blogs go, mine is small stuff. But to me the opportunities that I've had have been really exciting, because they are things that before starting this I'd never have thought I would do. But I think my very favorite thing about this blog is that it feels like an accidental journal of my family's life for the past four years. Because even though it's mostly just me prattling on about the latest looks I'm loving or what I'm lusting over or what I just bought for our house, my real life is always in the background. The house that we're living in, the projects that we're working on, and just what our everyday life looks like. It's something that I'm going to treasure having. And it's the thing that makes this the hardest to walk away from. 

But it also represents the biggest reason why I am walking away. 
Something happened over the summer that made me realize that as much as I'd love for my family to grow, there's a good chance it isn't going to, and that probably these next few months will be my last ones with small children being at home with me all day. The twins will start school this fall and then my days of having kids at home constantly will be over. That sounds equal parts thrilling and absolutely heart breaking. 
And I don't want to spend those last few months that they are at home all day with me, sitting behind a computer screen. 

There are other, smaller reasons too. They aren't anything big and on their own they wouldn't be enough to make me stop, but they are just kind of the extra benefits of quitting. 

The negativity that goes along with sharing your ideas on the internet isn't awesome. As amazing as blogging is, it does have a dark side, and that part I'm not going to miss. Honestly I've been really lucky that I haven't had to deal with that very much. Most of the people I've been able to associate with have been incredibly nice and most of my experience with blogging has been very positive. I've had just enough experience with the not-so-nice side of blogging though that it's been an unexpected perk of being away. It just kind of feels like I've shed some unnecessary negativity from my life. It's felt pretty freeing to be able to just do whatever I want around my house without wondering if anyone is going to have some problem with it. 

Also, just between me and you guys, my coat is getting tight. And our windchill the other day was like -31. I need that thing to zip. So it will probably be good for my waistline if instead of sitting in front of a computer for hours a day, I like, I don't know, do some sit ups. Or take a walk. Or eat some vegetables instead of my favorite food- Krispy Kream glazed donuts with chocolate sauce. 

This got long, I'm sorry. It probably doesn't really matter though. I've been away for so long that probably the only one reading by now is my mom. And she likes when I'm wordy. 

This isn't my last post- I took some photos of our new house so I'll share them before I go for good. 

Be back in a few. 

30 October 2014

Going On Break

This is likely my last post for this year! After almost 4 years of writing this blog, I am taking my first big break. Honestly I'm a little scared to because I'm worried no one will be here when I get back. But if my sporadic posting lately is any indication, a break is really needed. I have a lot going on lately and am feeling a little overwhelmed, but the only thing I can realistically clean from my plate is my blog. So I'm letting my stress levels win this one and stepping away for a couple months. 
This isn't goodbye. It's just, see you in 2015. 
So, Happy Halloween...Happy Thanksgiving...Merry Christmas…Happy New Year……...and see ya in a bit. 

And as always, 

It always is. xo

29 October 2014

Paper Flowers

My kitchen sink area is looking like spring time thanks to these pretty pink flowers, and the best part is they'll never die. 

These are really easy to make. Here are {almost} all the supplies:

-crepe paper streamers
-scissors with scalloped edge
-floral wire
-floral tape
-pen or pencil (for attaching petals)
-cotton ball

The only thing not pictured is the glue. I've used both Elmer's and hot glue and both work great. The little circles with the scalloped edges I cut out of the crepe paper streamers. Those are the petals. 

I glued a cotton ball onto the end of a floral wire and then wrapped the bottom half of it and the wire with floral tape. Then I attached the paper petals to the top half of the cotton ball by sticking each petal over the end of a pen and kind of wrapping it around like this:

Then I put a small amount of glue on the bottom of the petal (which is the part covering the bottom of the pen) and then used the pen to push the petal onto the cotton ball. I repeated this until the whole cotton ball was covered. 

So pretty and I love that I can't kill them! 
That is unless I splash them with water…which I find sort of ironic. 

24 October 2014

Gold Rimmed Succulent Pots

 I did a quick little update to some succulent planters this morning that was inspired by my new Target vase.

The color of the cement vase is really similar to the color of the pot where this little faux succulent is planted. I have another of these little pots on a different shelf on this bookcase: 

I thought it would be pretty to glam up these gray pots a little bit so I used a Krylon gold leafing pen around the rim of both pots. I love how they look now!

23 October 2014

Obsessing: Target's Newest Line

 Target frequently has items in their home decor department that have me scrambling for my wallet, but none have had me wanting to throw my marriage's happiness to the wind and spend like tomorrow doesn't exist quite like the latest line from Threshold.
How did they know that like every single thing would go perfectly in my house?? Here are some of my favorites: 

I saw a bunch of things from this line on clearance the other day so I snatched up one of my favorites- a cement and gold vase. This small one was marked down to only $9. 

I wish I could have bought up the whole collection but at least I got my favorite piece! 

22 October 2014

Halloween Skull Bunting

I took my kids to Joann Fabrics last week to pick out some Halloween decorations and was surprised to find that the Halloween isles had already been cleared out to make way for Christmas and whatever was left of Halloween was at the front of the store and at discounted prices. The kids were bummed that there was less to look at but I was happy to score a few new things for much less money. 

One thing I grabbed was one of those long rolls of printed burlap- it was 50% off so I only paid like $2.50 for it. Once I got it home I tried hanging it in different places but it wouldn't hang right- it kept wanting to hang so the skulls were facing the ceiling. So I laid it out across the dining room table knowing that at some point I'd try altering it so that it would actually work like a banner. 

Yesterday I cut it apart so that it was in squares, each square having a skull in the center. I didn't measure or anything to size them perfectly; I just cut about halfway between each skull. 

My plan was to sew all the way across the top of all of them so they'd be sewn together in a long row. But the only thread I had that matched the burlap color was a heavy nylon upholstery thread and my sewing machine was choking on it. So I gave up and started sewing them together at the corners by hand. Four squares in though I realized this was not going to work because pulling my needle in and out of the loose weave of the burlap was just unraveling the corners so the edges of the squares were falling apart. 
By this time I was cursing burlap, sewing needles, and Halloween, but I was determined to make this work so I got out the hot glue gun and just started gluing them together at the top corners.

 Thankfully that worked. It doesn't look as good as if it had been sewn together and had some space between the squares, but at this point I really don't care. It'll only be up for a couple weeks anyway. 

Something else I did was to spread some Elmer's glue along all the cut edges so that they won't unravel. It was messy work. 

It was about this time that my fourth grader arrived home from school and saw me sitting at the table surrounded by glue, burlap squares, and a partially finished chain. He came over and looked at what I was doing and was like, "Why did you cut them completely apart? All you would have had to do was cut between each skull till you were almost to the top but left a little bit of material still attached- it would have been the same as what you're doing now but way faster. You made a ton of extra work for yourself Mom."

Oh duh.

I felt like a moron as I surveyed my mess and realized he was totally right.
If only I had the common sense of a 9 year old, then this would have been a much easier project.

But at least it's done.

That's it for Halloween crafts for me this year! :)

17 October 2014

Cleaning Quick Tip: Disinfect Your Purse

I consider myself to be a pretty clean person, but I recently read an article that had me wanting to gag (and maybe throw my purse away). It was about germy areas that we don't even think about (I wish I could remember the name of the article so I could link to it) and one of those areas is our purses. It said a study was done that showed that because of all the nasty places they get set- bathroom counters, grocery carts, floors, etc- horrifying things can be found on the bottom of a purse. Things like, what starts with an f and ends with an -eces. 


The article went on to point out that after we get home we often plop our purse down on the counter (which I ALWAYS do!) then later after we've put the purse away, we make a sandwich on the same countertop, and bingo!- e-coli waiting to happen. 

Even though I don't make a habit of setting my purse in the cart while I'm shopping, my eyes have been opened to just how gross this beloved accessory can be, so I've been taking action. Every time I get home from somewhere I give the bottom of my purse and the handles a quick swipe with a disinfecting wipe. (Double check first in an inconspicuous spot that this won't damage the material of your purse.) I also wipe down the counter with disinfectant if I do set the purse on it before cleaning it, and also after putting the groceries away because if my purse is germy, who knows what's on those grocery bags. This only takes a couple seconds and it's totally worth it!