Tag Archives | Recommendations

Loving Lately

We are having some very LONG days of summer lately- its so hot we can barely go outside unless we are in a pool.  Its safe to say we are all looking forward to school starting in a few short weeks, though I know I’ll miss theses kids when they’re gone all day!

I know I haven’t blogged much at all this summer, but I thought I’d pop in and share a quick post about a few things I’ve been loving lately.  I like to do that every once in a while (you can see my previous posts here).

Christy Nockels has a new podcast that’s really been inspiring. She interviews guests, but my favorite part is the beginning when she just share some of what’s been going on in her life and what God’s been teaching her either currently or in the past.  Its been good for my soul and I’m so enjoying it.

ChristyNockels

My daughter and I went to see Wicked, along with several of the women in our family and it was SO GOOD.  She and I both loved it so much and have since downloaded all the music and she even bought her own cd so she could listen to it in her room.  If you’ve never seen it or don’t have the music, you can download it on Amazon music for free if you have Prime!

Wicked

I visited Magnolia Market a few weeks ago (which I will eventually blog about and share more pictures) but my favorite purchase by far was this new summer candle.  It has been burning so much in our house lately and I’m sad to say its almost gone.  The scent is amazing and really fills the house which is hard to do with our high ceilings.

Candle

Do you like to drink wine?  An old friend of mine from college has the cutest blog and she’s doing a series on wine- learning about different varieties (is that even the right word, haha??) and pairing.  I like a nice glass every once in a while but I don’t know much about it, obviously.  I love the way Amy writes and I’m looking forward to her posts!

The beach.  We went for just a few days this summer and even though it was such a short trip, it reaffirmed my love for the sand and the shore.  I will never tire of it.  The sights, the sounds, the smell.  Its my happy place.  (And it also reminded me of this great book that I am now rereading.)

beachboy

Lastly, the Olympics!!  Are you watching?  We are big fans over here, but we are also pretty exhausted every night and barely making it the end.  I’m not a big sports person, but I just love learning all the back stories and seeing all their hard work come to fruition on a world stage.  It feels so monumental. And Team Refugee this year?  Just amazing.

So what’s going on with you this summer? I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying, reading, watching, or doing!  I do have plans for the blog this fall when I have a little more time to devote to it, so though I’ve taken a break, know I’m not completely gone. 🙂  Hope to hear from you!

 

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Three Things on a Thursday

Hi everyone! Happy Thursday! Hope you’re having a great week.  Just popping in to say hi and share a bit of life lately!

First up, I know the last time I was here I was talking about boy rooms, but oh how easily I get distracted! Now I’m thinking about girl rooms!  When we moved in, my daughter was still in her crib.  Then shortly after, we got a new mattress and she got our old mattress so it could double as a guest room for family that was coming in town.  I never really “designed” her room.  It just sort of came together with what we had.  Now that the baby is getting older and will be in preschool next year, I’ve been thinking about projects around here I’d like to tackle- one of them being some updates to her room.  I’m thinking maybe about painting, possibly some wallpaper, and I’d love to put a rug in there as well.  She’s also in need of a new dresser as the one she currently has is falling apart.

After researching wallpaper, I came across this fantastic room by House Seven.

House Seven

Its actually a peel and stick wallpaper from Chasing Paper.  So fun, right?  Here’s a little mockup showing how I’m envisioning my daughter’s room.

Girlyroom.001

I’m just in the dreaming stages, but I’ll keep you updated!

Next, one of my favorite bloggers is on a four month road trip!  Do you follow Emily of Jones Design Company?  She and her husband and four kids just left for the journey of a lifetime across the country! I sort of feel like I know her because I’ve been reading her blog for so long (that’s totally not creepy, right? haha!), so its fun to live vicariously through her posts on the blog and instagram for me and see this great adventure unfold!

jonesdesigncompany

Lastly, its almost Mother’s Day, and I just finished this parenting book by Kristen Welch.  Highly recommend if you have children of any age.  She’s relatable, funny, gives practical advice, and challenged me in a good way.  Plus its one of those with a pretty cover… I love books like that.

Raising Grateful Kids

 

That’s it for now.  Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!!

xoxo

Bethany

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Three Things on a Thursday

Hey there!  I’ve been away for a while, but today I’m back with three things, perhaps random, but its what we’ve been up to lately…

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was just on a quick trip with my husband, Paul to the midwest.  We were there for my cousin’s wedding, but since our 12th anniversary was a few weeks ago and my 33rd birthday was just last week we decided to make a little extra celebration out of it and stayed in Chicago a little longer just the two of us.

Cloud Gate

 

AnnSathersChicago

Our favorite thing about traveling together is food.  While we are eating a meal we are literally planning where we will eat our next meal.  And Chicago has got some great eats.  The weather was not the greatest, but we definitely got to experience why its called “the windy city.”  Check out Paul’s Instagram for more pictures.

AnnSather1

Amazing cinnamon rolls at an adorable Swedish breakfast spot

City View

Stunning sunset views from the Hancock building

Next up, we’ve been having fun taking some new pictures for HandUp Global Goods.

HandUp

This company has a special place in our hearts and I’d love for you to take some time and read about them and maybe even find a bracelet or two when you get a chance.  I’ve blogged about our photos for them before here. Creating these photos has been such a fun way for us to combine my love of design and fashion along with Paul’s skill and creativity behind the camera.

I bought some grocery store flowers and a few props and had no idea where things would end up.  We knew we wanted springy, fun, and colorful but just went from there.

HUGGflowers

HUGGphotos

Our old white Corian countertops have come in quite handy as a backdrop.

HUGGPhotos2

You can see a few more of the pictures on HUGG’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Lastly, have you seen the new line for kids’ bedrooms at Target?  Maybe I’m late to the party here but its called Pillowfort and is so adorable.

Pillowfort

They’ve got bedding, rugs, wall decor, adorable pillows, lamps, etc. I’m researching big boy beds and bedding for my littlest (*sniff *sniff*) and am loving some of these combinations.  Anyone gotten anything from this line yet?  What are your thoughts?

I hope you’re doing well, I’ve missed you all!

xoxo

Bethany

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What I’m Reading: Spring Edition

Thanks so much for your kind words on my last post!!!  I could just hug you all!  And I feel so free to write more now knowing that I’ve just put it out there!

I know I’ve talked about books before, so I guess that makes it the easiest to start there- with what I’ve been reading lately.  I tend to read in spurts and get distracted easily, but I love to read.  For me its usually a mix of fiction and non-fiction, lately leaning a little more toward non-fiction.  I read a ton on our drive to Disney a few weeks ago and finished two books and got halfway through another.

WhatI'mReadingSpring

First up is An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling.  The tagline is “Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest.”  He starts the book off describing Jesus as a relaxed guy.  Hmmm, I’ve never heard that before but I’m totally down with it.  He reminds us of Jesus’ patterns of early rising and prayer, of intentional communion with the Father, His “unhurried abiding,” and the evidence that he was never in a rush.  I feel like I underlined practically the entire book.  It also has questions at the end of each chapter that really allowed me to reflect on what I was learning.  This is one that I didn’t want to end and I know I will go back to it.

The second one was a much lighter read, in fact I read it in one long day in the car. Ever After by Vicki Courtney is “life lessons learned in my castle of chaos.”  Any of you other young moms out there relate to that tag line?  She talks a lot about how our expectations and dreams of being the princess in the castle and having Prince Charming along with the perfect home, perfect husband, kids, etc set us up for disappointment and frustration. Those things were never meant to fulfill and satisfy.   Its a funny and quick read, but still has some really great stuff.

Next on my list is the one I haven’t finished yet- a fiction book called The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.  I’ve loved everything else I’ve read by her and this one is no exception.  Her stories are usually set in some old home in England (think Downton Abbey) and span generations of families. There’s always a little romance and mystery.   I haven’t picked it up again since our trip, but I still really want to finish it!  For some reason I feel like I’m wasting time reading fiction and that I can only read it when I’m on vacation.  Anyone else like this?  So we’ll see if I finish it by summertime…

Lastly, have I talked about Big Magic too much for you yet?  Seriously, extremely inspiring if you’re doing any kind of creative work.  Or even if you’re not.  It has helped me think so much more lightly but also bravely about blogging and and about my design work.  I know I quoted her the other day but here’s one more, this time on fear… “It isn’t always comfortable or easy… but its always worth it, because if you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.”  So interesting for me especially as someone who has battled fear and anxiety in a lot of ways for a long time.  Living a creative life isn’t about squashing your fear or even necessarily living fearlessly.  That gives me a lot of hope.

What are you reading lately?  I’d love to hear!  I’m always looking for new suggestions!

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Springtime: Bringing the Outdoors In

Hey there!  I took a week off for spring break and we headed to Disney World with my parents!

DisneyWorld

Paul and I also celebrated our 12th anniversary this past weekend.  We are getting back to normal life today and it was funny, as we drove home from Florida (yes, we drove!!), we realized Spring had come while we were gone.  The grass was greener, the trees were budding… all those little things you sometimes don’t notice happening right in front of you but when you’re gone for a week and come home to bright green, its pretty fun.

I really don’t do anything different in my house for springtime- I don’t have any Easter decor or anything like that.  But I do get an itch to pull the shades up a little higher, let the doors swing open and see the outdoors.  After a week of being gone and the doors being locked up tight the house felt kind of stale.  We had barely unpacked and I was grabbing the garden shears to pluck a few branches from the backyard for my vase on the mantle.

springtimegreenery

Its such a simple thing and it didn’t cost me anything.  But now I feel like its springtime inside my house, too.

springtime

I’m no florist and I know these aren’t arranged perfectly, but its just a nice shot of leafy green in the living room.  So simple and easy.  I’m terrible with things that need to be watered, nurtured, and that kind of thing, but something that can be cut off and stuck in a vase?  Perfect!

Springtime clippings

This is an old picture from a clipping I got from a huge weed in my backyard.  It made for some beautiful greenery!!

 I’ve discovered its kind of a stylist trick.   Check out some of your favorite rooms on Pinterest or blogs and I’ll bet they have some leafy goodness happening in them as well.

Turner Davis Interiors

Source: Turner Davis Interiors

What would this room be without that giant tree branch stuck in that vase?

House Seven

Source: House Seven

Breakfast Room

This is my breakfast room– I snipped that branch from our front bushes just that morning and stuck them in a bud vase.

LaurenLiess

Source: Lauren Liess

 

Hello, adorable little frond in a milk jar!

the-montgomery-house-dining-room-small_0-wm

And here’s one more… this branch was taken off a tree just for our photo shoot of the Montgomery House.  Leaves and branches just bring in so much texture, color, and a freshness from the outdoors!  Flowers of course are nice, but can be pricey if you want to have them all the time.  I like to splurge occasionally, but what could be better than free beautiful greenery?

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Decorating UNschool: My Favorite Recipe for Windows

This post is part of my Decorating UNschool series… if you’re new here, you can find the introduction here and the other posts here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Nothing makes a room feel more finished than some beautiful curtains.  They are the icing on the cake and the jewels in the crown.  Often when I visit someone’s home for a consultation, I feel as though all they need are some beautiful long curtains for their windows and the room would have such a finished and put together feeling.

I know it can feel overwhelming, because there are so many options out there.  How and where do you get these beautiful and elusive curtains?  How do you hang them?  Aren’t they expensive?  How do you choose what color or pattern that will go with what you already have?

If you find yourself overwhelmed with those kinds of questions and decisions, I’m here to make it really simple for you:  Long white curtains hung high and wide on a black rod.  I’ve found this to be a pretty widely used and no-fail solution.  I’m not saying its the only solution, but I’m saying if you’re feeling paralyzed by the massive number of choices out there and you’re just not sure how to proceed, here’s a way that will look great pretty much every time.

Living Room // The House of Figs

Ikea Ritva curtains in my living room

The Ikea Ritva curtains are my absolute favorites.  They have a linen-like texture, are not super bright white (so they even look great on white walls) they hang so nicely, are a great price, and come in two lengths: 98″ and 118″.  Super long compared to your standard 88″!  The longer they are, the higher you can hang them.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Two sets of Ikea Ritvas give fullness on each side of this master bedroom window seat.

The curtains should at least hit the floor and its okay if they puddle a few inches on the floor, but they should not be above the floor (unless you’re going for a specific look that is several feet above the floor, for example in a kitchen window). Do you remember that phase in the late 90s and early 2000s when if you wore your jeans too short it wasn’t hipster or ironic it was just plain dorky?  That’s how your curtains still feel if the wall is showing.  You don’t want to have highwaters on your windows, okay?

Sometimes when there are multiple narrow windows in a row, I like to treat them as one big window.  For example, in this living room below, it would have felt fussy to have too many curtains in between each narrow window behind the couch.  The homeowners hung one long rod all the way across three narrow windows and hung one panel on each side (sorry the pic doesn’t show them all).

the-house-of-figs-kraus-haus-small_0wm

Long Ikea curtains hung high and wide in this living room.

For this wall of windows, where the wall itself is sort of a focal point of the room, we put panels in between each window.  I also adore the texture that natural fiber shades bring in.  The bamboo shades in my house are from Lowes (kitchen and kids rooms)  and Select Blinds (living room). In this client’s home, the windows had beautiful moldings, so we hung the bamboo shades on an inside mount.

The Montgomery House_Master_4 Small WM

These are the Ikea Lenda curtains with tab tops in this master bedroom.

the nester curtains

source: The Nester

Fixer Upper Curtains

Even Joanna Gaines knows the secret of beautiful white curtains.

And now, how to hang them?  This drawing perfectly illustrates where your curtain rod should go.

Both windows are the exact same size, but window 2 has a much longer rod that is hung higher and wider.  My preference is all the way to the ceiling (or just under crown molding) if possible!  As you can see the window panels are not covering hardly any of the window at all in the picture on the right- allowing more light and the appearance of a bigger window.  This gives the whole room a larger and more designed feeling.

Curtains hung like this also take up more wall space, so there is less of a desire to hang “littles” in between windows or near windows because you have the big beautiful curtains.  When you focus on the main important pieces of the room: “the bigs,” you find you don’t need as many “littles” to compensate or fill in for what’s lacking.  When you have great lighting, a great rug, curtains that are hung well, a furniture layout that works well for your family, it really is true that “less is more.”

So what do you think?  Do you have curtains in your home?  Have you ever bought Ikea curtains?  I do love beautiful patterned curtains as well, but white or cream curtains are definitely my favorite!  How about you?

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Three Things I’m Loving

Every once in a while I like to post about three things I’m loving lately… inspired by Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast (Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Check it out here!).

First up, I’m just obsessing lately over this beautiful living room and whole house tour.

Neutral Living Room

It reminds me so much of Lauren Liess’ style and much of what’s in her book, Habitat.

Habitat

When I’m in a Lauren-Liess-neutral-natural-vibe, unfortunately I sometimes start hating on my couch and looking for new ones with straight lines and a linen/textured look like the one in the Southern Living tour above.

When I’m in this mode though, I try to think rationally about what I can do just a little bit differently to change things up without buying a whole new living room.  So I switched out some of my pillows for more neutral tones with graphic patterns (ones that I already had) and also cleared the bookshelf of any bright pops of color. I like what it did for the space with the only real color coming from the books. It even helped me embrace the old couch again.  Its eleven years old and getting pretty ragged, but I want to live with it a bit longer until my littlest is a somewhat older and until we’re ready to get something that will last us a long time.

Graphic Neutral Living Room

(you can see a previous and more colorful picture of my living room here)

Next up, I’m loving this article I found on Apartment Therapy about decorating for your personality type. Its based on the Myers-Briggs personality assessment (you can take a simplified but free version of it here or here but I found it the most helpful just to read through the 16 different types).

portrait02

I’ve always thought of decorating as a subjective art, not a science.  Its completely about personality and differing tastes. Like I’ve said before, I don’t have any magic formulas- you just have to try different things and figure out what you love. And since I have a background in psychology (For real, a master’s degree. Its good to finally know I’m maybe getting a little use out of it now? Haha!) I found of this extremely interesting.  I also figured out I’m an INFP.  What about you??

The last thing I’m loving right now (and this has nothing to do with decorating, but I’d say it has to do with beauty) is No Bake Cookies.  My mom used to make these when I was growing up and so every once in a while I like to surprise the kids with them.  Since the New Year, Paul and I have been trying to cut out a lot of the sugar and processed foods we eat though (I know, bummer!), so when I was having a major craving for these things last night, I googled an alternative recipe and found a pretty good one!  Find the recipe here.

Nobake11

If you’d like the original recipe and not the “healthy” version you can find it here.  Even if you don’t want to make these cookies, please read her article because its absolutely hilarious and probably explains why I crave them every so often… she calls them PMS Wranglers if that gives you any hints.

Anyway, TMI?  Haha!  That’s it for me, today!  Want to share something you’re loving lately??  How about your personality type??  How does it affect your home?  I’d love to hear from you!!  Have a great rest of the week.

xoxo

Bethany

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