Saturday, February 26, 2011

Finding Contentment

I read this post on {in}courage today and thought it was so perfectly written, and convicting, that I thought you might enjoy it too.  As a reminder.  And as encouragement.

Finding Contentment

Living room:
Painter’s drop cloths unite my mismatched furniture.
Inexpensive seagrass rug covers wall to wall carpet.
Do you ever feel frustrated because your home doesn’t feel “put together?” Are you living with hand me downs or old furniture and struggle with discontentment? Do you gaze longingly at other people’s updated homes and feel that green eyed monster of jealously start to well up inside?
Here is how I see things.
  • Your house doesn’t have to be magazine perfect.
  • Your style doesn’t have to be the most current.
  • Your furniture doesn’t have to be new, expensive or ridiculously adorable.
  • You can have a mixture of furniture styles and hand me downs.
  • You can spend your money on things that matter more than the latest trend in home decor.
And you can still enjoy the process of creating a warm, welcoming home! You CAN find contentment right where you are, even with what you already have.
Unifying random accessories with paint eliminates
chaotic feeling of “nothing goes together”
The secret to finding contentment is not as difficult as we might think.
Yes, we do sometimes just need to get our priorities in check and stop obsessing over what other people have that we don’t.
Yes, we need to be more grateful for what we already have instead of spending our days longing for something new, or  justifying buying things outside of our budget.
But beyond just accepting and being grateful for what we have, HOW can we truly find CONTENTMENT and even happiness with what we have?
We have to be looking for the right thing.
I love making my home beautiful. It is a God-given passion for me to create beauty.

By Melissa, The Inspired Room
For the entire article, click here.

Do you struggle with perfectionism?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sweet November

I just wanted you to know that I am an official sponsor of the adorably cute blog, Sweet November!
So go check her out and feel free to sign up for FREE advertising as well!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Visual Learner

I'm a visual learner.  Hence why I had to draw up a rendering for the playroom re-do.

This still wasn't good enough for me though because I didn't know the color scheme that I really wanted.  I needed to figure out a way to experiment with different colors.  Without painting it on my wall, only to hate it {as I have done several times now}.

I've been obsessed with grays lately, but maybe it's time I departed a little bit.  Not EVERY room in my house needs to be tempting as that is.

So I opened up our PowerPoint program for the first time ever, fiddled around for awhile and came up with some REALLY rough sketches as a visual aid.

There aren't ANY decorations in these sketches so just keep that in mind when you're looking.  I know it looks plain.

First Wall:
  • 3/4 high chair rail
  • Mondo-sized chunky framed cork board, chalk board and mirror.  Something for everyone.  
  • *I thought it'd be cute to also hang little mini galvanized tins on either side of the boards to hold like the chalk, push pins, etc.  Just a thought.

Second Wall:
  • Low shelving with lots of canvas baskets.  Easily accessible for Brecken, and simple clean-up.  #throwthecrapin
  • Pennant flags.  I love this trend and have been wanting to incorporate it in the house somehow.
  • The elusive basketball hoop.  Blake made sure we REGISTERED for this, even though I informed him Brecken would not be using it for at least a year or two.  Alas, it will make it's way into the living space.
Oh you caught that little bit of gray huh?  I need it.

Third Wall:
  • Some blue curtains.  The window dominates this wall, so this will add something decoratively pleasing to the eye.
  • Vinyl.  Love.

This of course doesn't NEARLY cover any of the small details, or other furniture/stuff that will fill the center of the room.

I'm in the market for:
  • a large rug (that way the munchkin doesn't stain the carpet with his -eventual- projects), 
  • a table and chair set for him, 
  • one of those personalized little lounge chair things {thing Pottery Barn}, 
  • a treasure chest to store other random crap that we collect, 
  • and I'm sure more.

By no means am I {even close} to a professional interior designer, but this PowerPoint rendering helps the visual learner and is fairly idiot proof as long as you know how to use shapes.

Since waking up this morning to {almost} 3 inches of snow, my creative juices have been flowing prepping for this playroom.  And what do you know, I've gone back to grey.
I sort of figure, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  And I LOVE grey - I already know that.  So I'm stickin with it.

Good thing I could just "change" with the click of a mouse before I did any work and realized I hated it.  Ahh...the bliss of PowerPoint.

Linking up today to:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Starting to Play

Does your family room ever look like this?
The toys have invaded.  

How is it that everything slowly has crept into our family room and made itself at home?  Oh, because this is the space we actually LIVE IN.

Don't worry, there's hope.

Right next to our family room, we have an office.

This space for the most part is just decoration.  Lame-o. 

With a growing family (and family toys), {it's just not feasible anymore to have such an impractical space just right in the heart of where we live everyday}.

We've devised a plan to transform this room into a functional, sophisticated, and {super} fun playroom.
My husband has rubbed off on me: GRAPH PAPER?!

I'm pretty excited, and of course I needed some more inspiration to get our rendering further in place.

I love the cork board/chalkboard combo in this one.  And the pennant flags - definitely making the cut.

Big frames - LOVE.
Stripes and monograms - two fav things right now.
Neutral palette with pops of color.  After all this is a PLAYroom.
Storage, and more storage is a must.
Imagine labeled galvanized tubs.  So cute.
Still haven't fully decided on the exact color scheme, but re-painting (this really excites Blake...or not), adding a chair-rail and assembling it all together is still on the horizon.

Operation playroom commence!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Established Plaque

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a great weekend away celebrating some friends' decision to jump on the marriage bandwagon.

It was a gorgeous wedding, our first "destination" wedding {which I'm totally a fan of}, and they had some amazing personal touches to their weekend.
Leavenworth.  A must-visit destination.
We are at the stage in life where it feels like there is a wedding invitation in our mailbox at least once a week.
The beautiful bride from this weekend.

It's so fun, and we feel so blessed, to celebrate with each of our friends.
Hot groomsman = hot husband

Either way you cut it though, the mass quantity of weddings leads to some serious dollars out the door in order to help each of our friends begin their marriage.
Blake and I were blessed beyond belief with gifts and more gifts as we started our life together.  We were grateful, and excited, to open every present addressed to the new Mr. & Mrs. Carbonatto.
{This was the painter/artist at the wedding this weekend.  He painted 2 canvases on the spot to encompass the essence of the wedding.  Coolest idea ever.}
Some of our most memorable wedding gifts were the ones that were specifically designed for us.

So on a budget, trying to shower our friends with gifts to start their life, but more importantly offer them something to build their marriage, enter my latest go-to:
Let's call it the Established Plaque.
These plain wood guys come in all shapes and sizes.  And can be personalized to commemorate the couple being celebrated with some simple paint.

The process to get your desired product is oh-so simple.
1.  Start with a blank slate.  Any wood plaque will do.  A simple rectangular board, large, small - pick whichever look you are going for.
*I purchased mine from Michaels, and JoAnns - using a 50% off coupon each time.  Some were $1.99, some where $14.99.  DEAL.

2.  Sand these bad boys down slightly so that it takes to the paint well.

3.  Choose paint color.  I used leftover paint colors from rooms we had painted in the house.  I haven't tried acryllic, but I think using a high-quality paint for this is a better way to go.

4.  Use the transfer process (or vinyl) to highlight the monogram of the couple's last name.

5.  Then, using the same transfer process, paint on their "established" date.  The trick is to use paint pens for this.

When all is said and done, I add a homemade card from Paper Therapy, write some thoughtful words, wrap it with twine and wa-la, the perfect personalized {non-budget-breaking} present.
*Note: our go-to is usually throw in a giftcard to a nice local restaurant so that they can keep dating one another, build their marriage, and enjoy a night out on us.  That serves as the "real" gift.
There you go!  I know that people need their dishes, cups and fine china, but in our {short} almost 5 years of marriage, we've learned that {it's the quality time together that is going to help us make the long haul, not our dishes}.  

And people really do love a personalized, thoughtful gift.   

Next time you're headin' to a wedding, throw in an Established Plaque to add that personal touch.

Linking today to:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cards By Paper Therapy

Announcement, announcement, annnnnoouunnncement!

We are back from a wonderful weekend away of celebrating our friends' wedding (yes, Blake was in yet another wedding).  The couple got hitched in the cutest little Bavarian town, Leavenworth, just 2 hours away.  Fun pics and details on that trip (and a tutorial for their gift!) later.

I REALLY want to announce though the launch and opening of my new Etsy shop, Cards By Paper Therapy.

I mention, and reference, my mom quite regularly because I'm just grateful to have inherited some of her creative talent.

My mom specializes in the cutest little greeting cards for just about every occassion you could think of and more.  These babies are highly coveted in our family, so I'm so excited to be launching the new company to brag to the world a little bit about her cards.

We'll be selling mostly her wonderful creations, but also adding in other fun paper therapy gifts as well such as name prints.
I'm ahead of myself though.  You'll have to stay tuned for these.

For now, check out some of these beautes and HEAD OVER TO THE NEW SHOP!!
And as a Grand Opening special, we are offering 20% off to anyone who uses the coupon code WELCOME at checkout. 

You'll also want to make sure to subscribe, as all subscribers will be receiving additional discount codes and notifications of other specials.

We all know how loved we feel when a handwritten card shows up in our mailbox.  Spread that love.  Send a card.  A card by Paper Therapy!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's A Book

Everyone always stresses the huge importance of reading to your child.  I couldn't agree more.  Reading builds vocabulary.  Cultivates imagination.  And frankly, makes you smarter than a 5th grader.

Well some days, I've said goodnight to the moon enough times to make me want to pull my hair out.  

And mama has called the doctor on those darn monkeys four hundred and one billion times (the bill must be outrageous really).

So I came across a hilarious, for-the-kids-but-more-for-the-parents new book to add to our collection.

It's A Book.

Our kids are going to grow up with iPads, Kinects, and other virtual plug-it-into-the-wall items, and this book is a satire on how our kids will grow up.

It's freaking hilarious.

Slight disclaimer: for those with older children, the last line in the book is "It's a book, jackass".  Not to call names, but because duh, the guy is a jackass. A DONKEY.
See.  He's just a donkey.

So obviously when I read it to Brecken, I just don't say that last word (because I don't need him learning jackass as a first word...even though that would be really funny bad parenting).

Instead, I just switch it to Donkey.  "It's a book, silly donkey."  Wow, that was easy.

The disclaimer is that for anyone who gets their panties in a bunch about some generational pun, don't buy this book.  Everyone else, buy it for the next baby shower you go to.  Super funny.  Relevant.

We all need a good laugh everyday, and need something every day that is just for mommy.   

Today, for me, it's a book.

*PS - this is totally my own personal opinion, and before you fear that I've jumped off a cliff and think it's okay to teach my kids swear words, just remember "It's a book, silly donkey."
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