July 7, 2014 AT 4:06 pm 13 Comments

One room that you have seen very little of is my living room (or den.)

You’ve seen the fireplace in my living room many times since we gave it a makeover, but I’ve really never showed you the whole space.

before

fireplace makeover

There is a reason for that.

It’s the room that I’ve never really “put together.”  It’s always had mismatched furniture and no décor.

When Layla took this picture of my fireplace last summer, she neatly styled it with a chair flanking each side.  She’s a genius with a  camera!

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But you should have seen the rest of the room.  A mismatched mess! 

Last fall, I finally got the white slipcovered sofas from Ballard Designs that I had been dreaming of!

Baldwin Sofa - Slipcover and Frame

I know you think I am crazy for having white couches in a house full of boys, and you are probably right, but I reeeeally wanted them. And I knew that I wouldn’t mind the little bit of extra work to keep them clean to have the couches of my dreams.

I now have one white slipcovered sleeper sofa and one white slipcovered love seat.

I showed you a little bit of them during my recent home tour. 

 

cottage living room

At that time, I had the sofa back up to the french doors that go out to our patio.  Since we never use those doors, I didn’t mind it, and it made the room feel bigger.

But last week, I needed to take some pictures of my living room for an event I am doing with Joss and Main, and it forced me to move things around and create a new look.

I am loving how it turned out because our living room feels so much cozier.  cottage living room

I moved the sofa and love seat into the middle of the room which makes a perfect spot for our coffee table.  The wall on the other side of the room, that you do not see, holds our flat screen tv and a large “buffet” piece of furniture.

I was super excited to finally “style” my fireplace the way I like it.

In our home tour, it looked like this….

cottage fireplace

I didn’t have a lot of time to work on it, so it was very simple and plain. 

Now my mantel looks a lot more like “me.” 

cottage fireplace

The round mirror is from Kirklands, and the wood collector’s tray on the right I got for a few bucks at a yard sale.  The succulents are from Lowe’s, and the glass/rope jar is also from Kirklands.  I gathered the rest of the stuff from around the house.

Sometimes, just moving your furniture around and moving décor from one room to another can make a world of difference in how your house feels.

I am so glad that I did it in mine.  Now I am wanting to make a gallery wall by the stairs, but gallery walls scare me.  Seriously.  I am afraid it won’t look right.  Oh well, I will give it a try anyway.  I need some pictures of my boys in this space! Smile

Well, that’s what I have been up to!

Is there a room in your house that you have been working on?

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Favorite Pins Friday!

July 4, 2014 AT 1:52 pm 2 Comments

Happy 4th, y’all!

 

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I LOVE this holiday!  Not only do I love celebrating this wonderful country of ours, but it reminds me of the celebration of my first born son on July 5th!

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My hubby and I stood outside in the street on the night of the 4th fifteen years ago, and I was barefoot and hugely pregnant.  We watched the amazing fireworks in the sky knowing that our lives would soon be changing as we were preparing to become parents.

Jonathan came into this world with a bang that next morning (he was 9 days early,) and he’s been rocking our world ever since.

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LOVE HIM!

 

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To celebrate the 4th, I am sharing some patriotic pins with you today. 

Enjoy!!

decorating design ideas with blue color                            2012 Blue Decorating Design And Style Ideas

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Colorful pillows

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Seasonal Sitting Room

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Red White and Blue Bedroom

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red, white & blue beach house bedroom

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red, white & blue beach house bedroom

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Have a blessed weekend!


 


How to Make Your House Plants SHINE!

July 2, 2014 AT 7:54 am 6 Comments

 

 

 

Happy Hump Day! 

Today, I wanted to share with you a quick tip on how to make your house plants SHINE!

 

how to make your house plants shine

Several months ago, I shared with you how I love Fiddle Leaf Fig trees. Smile I have been wanting one for quite a while now.

Well, I finally got one! Yay!
But when I bought it, it was very dirty with that white filmy stuff on it.

how to make your house plants shine

 

So I cleaned her up and made her shine in 2 Easy Steps!

First step was to take a wet paper towel and clean off the dirty film on all of the leaves.

After I did that, it started looking better.

 

how to make your house plants shine

 

But I wanted my plant to SHINE!

So I took some Hellman’s mayonnaise, {Yep! That’s right!} and applied it to my leaves with a paper towel.

 

LOOK at how it made my fig tree SHINE!

how to make your house plants shine

Isn’t she beautiful?

I got my fiddle leaf fig tree for my den, and I will be taking pictures of her in her new space and sharing it on my blog soon.

Do you have any tips or tricks to making your house plants shine?  Please share it with us!

 

how to make your house plants shine


 


A Healthier {Nap-less} Me!

June 30, 2014 AT 10:19 am 18 Comments

Good Monday Morning, Y’all!

I hope you had a great weekend!

Ours was very sad.  Sad smile  We lost our sweet dog, Champ, on Saturday.  He was hit by a car {again,} but this time, he didn’t make it.  We were all devastated.  The house just doesn’t seem the same without him in it.  The boys have cried and cried.

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This was our first dog as a family.  We got him almost five years ago, and he was a wonderful dog!

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I wanted to share with you today how I have been taking steps to a “healthier me.”

As I have shared before, I have put on a lot of weight over the past three years.  I think it has to do with metabolism and hormones.  {Basically, I’m getting old.}  Smile 

This past year, I have really been trying hard to take steps toward a more healthy lifestyle.  I have only lost a few pounds, but I love the way that I “feel” right now. 

I have a ton of energy and have gotten rid of my daily naps. 

I feel like I have discovered the Fountain of Youth or something.  But I haven’t. 

I’ve just been eating “clean.”

What is “clean eating.”  Well for me, it is basically not eating any processed food.  I stick to the basic meats, fruits, and veggies. 

It’s so simple, but it seems like the best kept secret in the universe!!

Before I started eating clean, I was taking a nap every day.  Sometimes two naps.  Yes.  Two.  I would drop the boys off at school in the morning and head to McDonald’s or Panera to work on my blog/computer.  When I would get to the parking lot, I would lay my head back on the car seat for a  few minutes just to “rest my eyes.”  Smile  Sometimes that would be a 10 minute “rest,” and sometimes I would wake up 45 minutes later!  In my car, y’all!

Then later that afternoon, I would lay down about an hour before the boys got off the bus because I would be so tired I could not hardly keep my eyes open.

I felt like a slug.  Seriously.

I knew that it had to do with my diet.  So I decided to start eating more “clean.”

To help me eat clean and get more exercise, I started doing the workout program “21 Day Fix.” 

I love this program.  It is a great way to control what you are eating each day and help you exercise.  My college friend, Tammy, is a Beach Body Coach, and I was in her 21 Day Fix facebook group where we would report in every day and tell how we were doing.  Tammy is great at encouraging me through words and scripture, and the accountability is great! {If you need a great Beach Body Coach, I highly recommend Tammy.}

The food plan in this program is clean, nothing processed.  And within the first few days, I immediately began to see a change in my energy level.  Not only was I not tired when I woke up in the morning, but I had no need for an afternoon nap. 

Usually, when I sit and work on my computer in the afternoon, I can barely stay awake. Not anymore!  I can work on my computer in the afternoon with no problem at all!  I’m not tired one bit! 

That is like a miracle to me, y’all!

And it’s all because of the food I am NOT eating anymore.

If I could encourage you to do one thing to improve your life, it would be to eat clean.

Tammy just posted this on her facebook page, and it is so true.

Photo: Eating right, where do you start?  A great tip is that "clean" food is found in the perimeters of your grocery store.  The inside lanes are filled with processed foods...which are harder on your body to digest, don't offer much nutrition, and don't fuel your body. Try filling your cart mostly with whole foods: fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Now, I need to say that I do not eat 100% clean, but more like 80%.  And I haven’t gotten my boys to eat totally clean either.  They love their cereal and chips.  Smile  Of course, they have ten times the energy I do every day, so I am not as worried about them.  Hee.hee.  But when I cook for them, I try to make it as healthy as possible. 

The other thing that I am doing to become a “healthier me” is using my Young Living Essential Oils.

I’ve talked about them on my blog before, but I love my oils!

I use Peace and Calming to help me sleep at night.

I use Pan Away for sore muscles and Peppermint for headaches (instead of over the counter medicine.)

I use Thieves for all of my household cleaning needs (instead of chemical-infested cleaners from the store.)

It is crazy how much these oils of have helped me, and I love that they are 100% natural and good for my body.  I really believe that these oils have a lot to do with how much better I “feel” now. 

You can learn more about the oils HERE.

 

So, that was a really long post, but I just wanted to update you on the healthier changes I was making in my life.  I’m not getting any younger y’all, so I’ve got to do all that I can to take care of myself and my body.

Do you have any tips or advice to share with me?  What do you do/use to help you feel your best?


 


Sunday Encouragement

June 29, 2014 AT 10:09 am 1 Comment

Friends, please know that although the story of your life may not be as you would have written it, God has a “Glorious Unfolding” of a greater story being written for you.

1 corinthians 2:9

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I have a favorite song right now that just gives me chill bumps.  Please take time to listen to it and claim it!

I dedicate this song to my sweet niece, Courtney, and her beautiful son, Colt.

It will be a GLORIOUS UNFOLDING, Courtney!

 

 


 


Favorite Pins Friday!

June 27, 2014 AT 10:10 am 4 Comments

Yay!  It’s Friday!!  Smile

It’s been kind of quiet around here for the past couple of days.  Adam is at basketball camp, and Jonathan and Luke are at FCA Leadership camp.  So it’s just been me, Cy, and little guy around here. 

He’s loving all the attention he’s getting.  We took him out to dinner and ice cream last night, and of course, he’s been sleeping with us.  I have been soaking it up!!

Eli misses his brothers though.  Adam will be home this afternoon, and he cannot wait!

I hope you have had a good week!

Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!

 

Enjoy!

(click on the link below each picture to view the source.)

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Farmhouse Renovation by Historical Concepts

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Country Living - decks/patios - siding, wood siding, outdoor fireplace, white brick fireplace, white brick outdoor fireplace, herringbone firebox, round jute rug, round braided jute rug, re-purposed wine barrel coffee table, reclaimed wine barrel coffee table, wicker chair, white shelves, outdoor shelving, potted plants, outdoor living room, outdoor living area, outdoor seating, striped red and white throw, covered patio with fireplace, patio fireplace, outdoor fireplace, barrel table, barrel coffee table, wine barrel table, wine barrel coffee table, wicker armchairs, round rug, seagrass rug, round seagrass rug,

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DIY Vintage Science Poster - So easy to make & a great way to hang art with out making any holes in the wall!

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Follow me on…

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Have a blessed weekend!!!

 


 


Mini S’more Treats

June 26, 2014 AT 8:18 am Leave a Comment

Hi to all my friends at Beneath my Heart!

It’s Ruthie from What’s Cooking with Ruthie and I’m SO happy to be visiting again today.

I’m SO excited that summer’s finally here. Yippee!!

Mini S'more Treats by www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

I ran into these Keebler Mini Fudge Stripe Cookies at the grocery store and thought they were SO stinking cute that I just had to buy them!

Next, I had to figure out a fun way to eat them :)

Mini S’more Bites are what came of it… can I tell you I ate nearly everyone. Seriously!

 

Mini S’more Treats
 
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 1 (3oz) Keebler Mini Fudge Stripe Cookies
  • 18 mini marshmallows
  • 18 decorative toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Thread one cookie on toothpick and then put marshmallow on tip.
  2. Using a taper candle or flame torch lighter, roast marshmallow.
  3. Place second cookie onto bottom and press marshmallow between both cookies.
  4. Set on serving plate and repeat.
  5. Or enjoy them as you make them :)
 

 

Mini S'more Treats by www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

These little guys are a fun activity to make and eat with the kiddos! Much easier than roasting over an open fire but all the same flavor :)

Here are a couple of other delicious summer recipes you might enjoy too…

Homemade Strawberry Pie by www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

Homemade Strawberry Pie

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Grilled Lime Salmon by www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

Grilled Lime Salmon

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Patriotic Fruit and Cheese Kabobs by www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

Patriotic Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer with family and friends AND lots and lots of fun in the sun.

I’d be love to have you come and visit me at www.whatscookingwithruthie.com or connect with me on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Happy Cooking!

 

Ruthie from www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

xoxo~ Ruthie

 

 


 


Summer Entertaining Tips {& Kirklands’ $250 Giveaway!}

June 25, 2014 AT 12:27 am 250 Comments

It’s summer y’all, and time to get our par-tay on!  Smile 

My favorite part of summer is spending time outside on our back patio.  It’s so much fun to have friends over to hang out and dine outside.

Thanks to Kirkland”s, I have been able to get my back patio together and ready for our Summer Soirees.

summer entertaining tips

When I wrote “summersoiree” on my chalkboard, my boys were like, “Wha?”

They hadn’t ever heard of a “soiree.”  {We aren’t real fancy in Kentucky, ya know.}  Smile

I looked soiree up in the dictionary, and this is what it said…

 

soi·rée

swäˈrā/

noun

  1. an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music.

 

 

Perfect!  That describes exactly what I like to do in the summer!

So I want to share three quick entertaining tips to make your summer soiree special.

summer entertaining tips

This was easy to do with my twin beverage dispensers and galvanized metal beverage station from Kirkland”s.

summer entertaining tips

Of course, we always have sweet tea and lemonade on hand.  My husband likes to mix the two and make an “Arnold Palmer.”

In the galvanized metal beverage station, I filled it with cold drinks for the kiddos. {My Kentucky readers might recognize our original Kentucky soft drink, Ale8.}summer entertaining tips

I love the rope handles on the bucket. 

summer entertaining tips

I am crazy about fresh flowers right now!  They just make every space, indoors or outdoors, feel special.

I put some bright, yellow flowers on my table to add some color and life to that space.

summer entertaining tips

I also added some fresh cut daisies to my glass vase table runner  on my patio furniture.summer entertaining tips

Aren’t they cute?  The glass vase table runner and the wicker placemats are both from Kirklands.

summer entertaining tips

Now for my final tip…

summer entertaining tipsI like to light some candles or tiki torches, hang some fun party lights, or add a lamp or lantern. 

I found these colorful paper lanterns at Kirkland”s, and they light up at night by a simple on/off switch and batteries.

summer entertaining tips

I also added some decorative lighting by hanging these two teal lanterns on each side of the mirror that I got from Kirkland”s.   The lanterns have candles in them.

summer entertaining tips

As the evening gets darker, the beautiful glow of lights always adds a special touch to any party.

Now my patio is ready to go!

summer entertaining tips

Now are you ready for the

$250 Kirkland”s gift card giveaway?

 

I am teaming up with four of my favorite blog friends in the world for this giveaway!  Each of them are sharing their own post about outdoor entertaining.  Be sure to check them out…

Chris from Just a Girl

Sarah from Thrifty Décor Chick

Beth from Homes Stories A to Z

 

You can enter the giveaway below.  Goodluck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

I received compensation for the Kirkland’s “Summer Soiree” blog post. Kirkland’s partnered with several bloggers like me to raise brand awareness. All purchases and content are on my own accord and reflect my personal opinion and style. Kirkland’s blogger outreach policies abide by the WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. For official Kirkland’s giveaway rules, visit http://www.kirklands.com/content.jsp?pageName=blogger_rules-03.


 


How to Style a Coffee Table

June 23, 2014 AT 10:40 pm 15 Comments

Hey Friends! 
I am so thrilled to be participating in Beth from Home Stories A to Z’s blog hop called “How to Decorate.”

How to Decorate Button

I am joining 25 other fabulous bloggers to talk about all kinds of decorating ideas, tips, and tricks.  It is such a fun series to follow. 

If you are joining me from Jessica’s blog, WELCOME!  I LOVE Jessica (and her accent.)  Have you ever heard her talk?  It’s a hoot.  She gets a kick out of my southern accent too. Smile

Okay.  I digress.

Now let’s get to my decorating topic!

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Two pieces of furniture that many of us buy when we get our first place to live is a couch and coffee table.  Ya just gotta have them.

If you only had these two pieces of furniture in your house, you would still be set.  The couch could also serve as your bed, and your coffee table could do double-duty as your dining table.  Smile

But hopefully most of us have passed those days and have been able to add more pieces of furniture to our homes.

And since we don’t have to use our coffee table as a kitchen table, we can now have fun styling it!

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But where do we start?

I used to think styling a coffee table was difficult, but it really isn’t.  Here are 5 easy steps to styling your coffee table.

Step One:   Add a tray to your coffee table to organize some of the items in steps two through five. 

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Step Two:  Place some books or magazines on your table that are interesting for you or your guests to read.

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Step Three:  Bring your coffee table to life with fresh flowers or greenery.

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Step Four:    Set out one ore more decorative accents that are unique to your taste and could be a conversation starter for your guest.

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Step Five:   Either for ambiance or the smell, add a candle to your coffee table.

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Now here are some inspiration pictures of my favorite coffee table styling…

cute coffee table decor {the pink peonies}

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Do you see all five of the steps on each of these coffee tables? 

Inspiration: Coffee Table Styling (I don't like these flowers, but everything else) source

See if you can spot them.

Cait Weingartner’s Chicago Studio Tour // fresh flowers // coffee table styling // photography by Stoffer Photography

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Here’s a little test…

What is missing on the coffee table in this picture?

coffee table styling

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Did you say fresh flowers or greenery?  If so, you are correct!  Smile

I love that coffee table, but fresh flowers or greenery would really bring that space to life!

Coffee Table Styling - Spring floral + stripes  - Lynda Quintero-Davids

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Now of course, you will not be breaking any laws or decorating rules by not following all of the five steps to style a coffee table mentioned above. Smile

But if you have trouble figuring out what to put on your coffee table, these steps will help you get started.

Now it is time to jump on over to the next blog in this blog series.  You are in for a real treat!

Click HERE to visit Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange.

Have fun!

Here is the entire How to Decorate series…
Day 1:
1. Beth, Home Stories A to Z: How to Find Your Decorating Style
2. Courtney, A Thoughtful Place: 5 Gallery Wall Styles
3. Stacy, Not Just A Housewife: How to Decorate with Plants
4. Myquillyn, Nesting Place: Turning a House into a Home on a Thrift Store Budget
5. Donna, Funky Junk Interiors: How to Turn Worthless Junk into Home Decorating Must Haves
Day 2:
1. Melissa, The Inspired Room: The Secret Ingredient Every Room Needs
2. Jessica, Four Generations One Roof: How to Decorate with Container Plants
3. Traci, Beneath my Heart: How to Style a Coffee Table
4. Cyndy, The Creativity Exchange: Tricks for How to Zone in on the Perfect Paint Color
5. Laura, Finding Home: 5 Ways to Personalize Your Home

 
 
Day 4:
 
 

 


Our Weekend Wedding Fun

June 22, 2014 AT 10:42 pm 31 Comments

This past weekend, one of Cy’s former bank employees, Raeann, got married.  The boys love Raeann because she used to babysit them a lot years ago, and she was their favorite baby sitter. She always brought cookies to make, and movies to watch, and even a tent to play in one time.

We went to the dinner rehearsal Friday night, and Saturday was the wedding.  The boys were so excited to see Raeann get married!

Eli put his “tuxedo” on around 11:00 am on Saturday even though the wedding wasn’t until 5:00 pm.  He was ready to go!

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Adam wanted to wear a “tuxedo” too, so he and Eli dressed alike. Smile

It was such a beautiful wedding, and it was fun seeing old friends and spending time with them. 

I ask a friend to snap a family picture of us because we rarely get a picture of the 6 of us all together. 

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I love these boys so much, y’all! 

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They are the apple of my eye.

Of course, they loved blowing the bubbles as the bride and groom left.

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The beautiful bride and groom left in a red convertible bug…

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I snapped a couple pictures at the reception.  My favorite part was the popcorn bar.  IMG_1433

It was SOOOO delicious and so cute. 

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They had these cute little bags to but the popcorn in.  We devoured our popcorn!page

There was lots of burlap, and natural décor, which y’all know I love.

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It was such a wonderful time!  Smile

I wanted to share Jonathan’s song with you.

He sang “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” by Keith Urban.

 

Have a Blessed Day!!!


 





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