Gravel Walkway Inspiration {For our Front Porch}

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Happy Monday, friends!

Hope you had a great weekend!  If you are on the east coast, I know you have been battered with a ton a rain.  I am praying for your safety.  

It has been dry and sunny over here on the west coast, and I have to admit that I am missing the cooler temps and the feeling of “fall.”  My time here is half way over, and guess what?!!! I get to see Cy and my boys this week!!!!  They are flying over here on Wednesday night!!!  YAY!  Please pray for their travel safety.  

I cannot wait to hug their necks!!!  

And I have got some more good news!!!!  Things are moving quickly on our adoption.  Yesterday, our sweet girl’s foster family got a visit from a lady from the government and found out that we are officially wanting to adopt her!  We didn’t expect this to happen so soon, so we are hoping this means that we may be flying over there to get her in November!!  Again, there are no guarantees because sometimes things get tied up in the court system, but so far, we are excited about how quickly things are going. :)

Here is a fun collage of her visit with us this summer.  I did it in pencil sketch since I can’t show her true picture yet online. :)

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.11.57 AM




Now to today’s post!  

I have a deep love for older homes.  Especially farmhouse style homes.   Something about them just warms my soul.  :)  So when adding on our new front porch, I wanted to give it an “old” farmhouse feel.  I started looking on pinterest, and I started noticing that many of the pictures I was drawn to had one thing in common….



Many of them had gravel walkways leading up to the front porch…




There is something so simplistic and rustic about a gravel walkway.  It seems that you usually find them in gardens, and they seem to always lead to somewhere magical.





 I have always loved the crunchy sound that gravel  makes beneath my feet.  

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.40.27 AM


The more I looked at these pictures online, the more I knew I wanted a gravel walkway leading to our front porch.  I showed Cy some of my inspiration pictures, and he loved the idea too.



There are many different types of gravel walkways that you can create, and I think they even look beautiful on newer homes too…



My favorite look is light gray gravel lined with pavers, so this was the route we decided to go.  Something similar to this pic….




Before I left town a couple of weeks ago, we finished our front walkway (sort of.)  We have filled our walkway with a layer of very fine crushed run to give our gravel a good sturdy base.  When I get back, we will be getting a little larger gravel to layer on top of our crushed run.

Tomorrow, I will share with you what it looks like so far!  I am very happy with how it has turned out.

So!  What do you think about gravel walkways for a front porch?  Yay?  Nay?


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Our Painted Front Porch


Well, if you know me, you know I love painted wood!  We painted the floors in our girl’s room.


We painted the wood walls in our guest bathroom.  


And we painted the wood floor in our new mudroom.


So when we installed our new wood front porch floor, I thought about staining it for a brief second, but I kind of knew already that my heart was set on painting it. :)

Our first coat was actually the same color as the mudroom (which I love,) but I knew that I wanted it to be a little darker gray.  When the sun hit the porch, the gray almost looked blue.  

front porch2

So I decided to go with a color that was a couple shades lighter than the color we painted our shutters (Ebony Fields.)  See below…


Since I am far from home right now, I didn’t have the color swatch with me, but I found a picture on Jenna Sue’s blog!  Yay!

Valspar Porch and Floor paint


It is called Mark Twain House Ombra Gray, and I absolutely LOVE it!  We used Valspar Porch and Floor Paint in gloss.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.57.31 PM

We trimmed everything out with just a high gloss exterior white paint.


I still have to get a pretty “welcome” rug for the front door, but I already love how it looks with our pumpkin and mum!  :)

front porch makeover

Have a blessed day, friends!!


*This front porch project was sponsored by my favorite home improvement store, Lowe’s!  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.  #lowesgirlforlife

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Decorating with Natural Accents


Y’all, the weather has been getting super chilly in these parts, and I LOVE IT!!  Oh my goodness, the morning requires a light jacket, and the afternoons are filled with sunshine and a cool breeze.  We’ve been riding around town every day with our windows down breathing in all the goodness.  Last night, Adam, Eli, and I went to our local park, and the boys played on the playground while I took a walk around the park.  #heavenly

On the way home, we rolled the windows down again and breathed in the smell of burning wood.  Someone was roasting something over the fire, and it was A-ma-ZING!  This time of year just makes my soul sing. 

I have so many fond memories of this time of year…hayrides, campfires, nature walks, football games….so many wonderful things to do outside.  And I think that is why I like to bring the outdoors inside this time of year.  I just can’t get enough of it!


Decorating my home with natural accents is one of my favorite things to do!  That’s why I am excited to share a book that my sweet blog friend, Stacy (from Not Just a Housewife) wrote about the subject. 

I have know Stacy for over five years now, and she is one of the sweetest souls I have met in blogland.  She is the mom of four boys like me, and she loves the Lord dearly.  She has been blessed with the talent of creatively adding natural accents to her home, and she shares her passion with everyone in her new book.


Stacy’s book is full of so many great, inspiring projects with easy do-it-yourself instructions.  It got me all excited about sprucing up our home with natural accents! 

Here are a few of my favorite inspiration pics from Pinterest that incorporate natural accents in their decor…





Check out how cute this little vignette with a wood slice, jars, and rocks.  The cool thing about decorating with natural accents is that you can get the kids involved!  My boys love to collect rocks and things from outdoors, and it makes them feel great when I add them to our home’s decor.  :)





Ahhh…..bittersweet!  One of my favorite things to decorate with in the fall.  Just through them in a bowl with some acorns, and voila!  You have a beautiful centerpiece!






My buddy, Michael, from Inspired by Charm, made these adorable acorns for his fall decor.  I LOVE THEM!!

Natural-Accents-738x1024If you want your jaw to drop and see how natural elements can be used to perfection in your decor, check out Michael’s Fall Home Tour!  #yourewelcome

Now, even though it is fun to decorate with natural accents during the fall season, it can certainly be done year round, and Stacy’s book gives you tips on how to do exactly that!


You can enjoy this book for yourself or give it as a gift!

And if you want more inspiration from Stacy and her blog, click HERE.


Have a blessed day!!

This post contains affiliate links.

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How to “Fake” a Wood Floor with Plywood {Our girl’s room}


how to fake a wood floor by using ply


This past spring, we were busy trying to turn our boys messy playroom into our precious host daughter’s bedroom.  We had to removed the pee-stained carpet {from our dogs, not our boys, ha!} from the playroom and come up with another type of flooring that wouldn’t beckon our dogs to continue to pee in there.  ugh. 

Here it is before we started clearing it out…


Since we didn’t have the money to install hard wood floors to match the rest of the house, we decided to lay some inexpensive plywood and paint it.  I love the look of painted wood flooring, so I was totally down for the idea.

Cy bought some 1/2 inch birch plywood from Lowe’s and had the guys in the lumber department cut the plywood into 6 inch strips.  Since plywood comes in standard 4 x 8 feet sheets, we were able to get eight 6 inch by 8 foot strips of plywood to use as our “planks.”  {The eighth strip was about 5 1/2 inches wide because you loose some width due to the size of the blade when cutting.}

Some of the cut edges may be a little rough and need a little sanding.  

We had a bunch of pictures of installing the wood planks on my husband’s phone, but it broke into a million pieces, and we do not have those pictures any more.  :(      #bloggerfail

I did take a couple of pictures on my phone of the boys helping us.  We let Jonathan and Luke install them floor to earn a little spending money.  After they pulled up the carpet, they removed any leftover staples from the plywood and cleaned the subfloor real good with Cy’s shop vac.  

Then Jonathan used the chop saw to cut the plywood strips the length they needed them, and Luke nailed the boards directly to the subfloor with a nail gun.  They completed the floor in one evening.  

diy wood floor

After all the plywood was laid, I swept it real good before I painted it with a (smooth/semi-smooth) nap roll brush.  

Painted wood floor

We used a roll brush with a thick nap and this oil based Valspar porch & floor paint from Lowe’s…

Valspar Porch and Floor paint

The color we chose is called Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue, and I absolutely LOVE it!  It was the perfect color for our sweet girl’s room!  This paint comes in satin or gloss.  We got the satin at first, but I didn’t like it.  The gloss was perfect!

Valspar Porch and Floor Paint

We painted the floors one good coat and then let it sit for 24 hours.  I suggest letting it sit as long as you can before applying the second coat.  Before we applied the second coat, we lightly sanded the painted floor in any spots that looked like there were tiny bubbles (which was hardly nowhere) with a fine grit sanding sponge and then vacuumed the floor.  

We let the second coat dry for over 24 hours as well.  It is a super durable paint.

inexpensive painted wood floor

I adore this floor!  There is something so quaint and cozy about a painted wood floor!  And it was super easy to install and very inexpensive. {less than $225}  SCORE!

Inexpensive DIY wood floor

So what do you think?

Do you like painted wood floors?




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Teenage Boy Room Makeover


I am so blessed to have the best readers in the world!!  #deadserious

I wish so badly that I could meet each of you face to face and just hang out together one day…you know, going thrifting and sipping sweet tea on the back porch.  Wouldn’t that be fun?!

So I get super excited when I get to meet a blog reader, Tonyia, in real life!  I ran into one reader at PetSmart, and she told me about a makeover she was doing at her house.  I asked her to send me some pictures, and she did!  I loved sharing them on my blog. 

Well, Tonyia sent me some more pictures of a great little makeover she did on her teen boy’s room, and I wanted to share it with you.   Here is the email I received…

Hi Traci!

I ran into you in Pet Smart last year, introduced myself as a fan of your blog (feeling like a stalker 😁) & you wound up featuring pictures of my home remodeling project on your blog. Thank you so much:-)

My husband & I just finished another room in our house and I wanted to share it with you because once again I drew inspiration from a project you completed in your home. You posted about building industrial style shelving in your boys bedroom around the same time I was looking for ideas for my son’s bedroom (he’s 16 yrs old). His room at that time was a hodgepodge of sports trophies, UK posters & a monster truck boarder that I attached on top of a different boarder a few years ago as a quick-fix because he had out grown the theme underneath. We knew it was time to upgrade his room to something more age appropriate. . . that’s when I saw the industrial shelving you made & started brainstorming how I could use this style in my son’s new room.


I didn’t want the expense of new furniture, but his was in desperate need of a makeover. It was a “crib-to-college” set that we purchased when he was a baby so it was made well, just outdated.

Here’s the “Before pictures”. .image3








So I painted the dresser & nightstand a dark grey, distressed it a little & then created industrial style handles.





I also created curtain rods with the same material. I spray painted them all black with Rust-oleum Hammered black spray paint.



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So here’s the close-to-being finished project. . .











Ironically building a set of industrial shelves to go on the wall beside his chair still needs to be done:-)

You can probably tell from the before & after pics but we installed new carpet, added crown molding, installed a plank wall as an accent wall behind his bed & everything got a fresh new coat of paint. I love how this turned out & most importantly he loves his new room!!

Thanks again for being such an inspiration for us DIYers. BTW . . . love, love, love reading about the new precious little girl in your life.

Here’s a pic of my little family.

image13One last email & then I’m done, I promise:-)

I told my husband about sending you this story & it must have motivated him to start building the shelves. He grabbed his measuring tape, pencil, paper & the iPad to order the plumbing parts – yeah!image1-2

BTW – he also corrected me on my earlier email to you. We didn’t just add crown molding. . . we installed all new trim work around the windows, the closet, doorframe & baseboards. Gotta give him credit where credit is due ya know:-)



Thank you, Tonyia, for sharing this makeover with us!

I think you did an amazing job, and I know your son must be enjoying his new space!!


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DIY House Numbers {DIY Show Off}

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Y’all today is the very last guest post for my “It’s a Summer Spectacular” series!

summer spectacular
I have felt so very blessed by this amazing community of blog friends that I have!!  I knew that this was going to be a crazy summer for me with our hosting of our little girl, Jonathan’s music adventures, and the every day life of having my kids home for the summer.  All of these guest posts that you have seen on my blog this summer are from sweet, loving blog friends who willingly came to my rescue!  How blessed am I?  Seriously, it makes me almost want to cry.  
Today’s guest poster is the very sweet Roeshel from DIYShowOff!
She’s the little, tiny, petite thing in the middle of the picture below…
Thank you, Roeshel, for being here!!!


Hi, fellow friends of Traci at Beneath My Heart!
I love Traci’s big heart, amazing talent and fun sense of humor, don’t you?
Oh…by the way, it’s me, Roeshel from DIYShowOff and I’m so honored to be here today!  
I’m sharing a quick weekend project that’s going to help guests and delivery drivers to locate the front door
as well as add a little interest to curb appeal. 
framed house numbers tutorial

What I used:

spray paint

house numbers

picture frame with wood backing

scrap wood plank 

clear lacquer 

Framed House Numbers materials

What I did: 

1. Remove glass from picture frame. Dispose/recycle glass.
remove picture frame backing
2. Apply light even coats of spray paint to frame and house numbers. Let dry. 
spray paint
3. Apply light even coats of spray paint (your color of choice) to wood backing. Let dry. 
4. Replace backing to picture frame.
5. Attach house numbers to center of frame with screws,
use scrap wood plank behind backing to anchor house numbers to frame backing. 
6. Apply a clear coat of lacquer for sealing and let dry.
7. Hang and display. 

Indoors:framed house number wall art


or out: 

framed house numbers tutorial

Enjoy the end of summer! 




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DIY Outdoor Sculpture {Jenna Burger Designs}


Hey friends!  This weekend was a tough one as we said goodbye to our little girl.  She flew out Sunday and is back in her home country now.  I wrote a post about the weekend last night but didn’t get it finished, so I will share it with you tomorrow.  

But for today. I have a wonderful guest post from the amazing Jenna Burger!  This girl has SERIOUS talent, and I could spend hours looking through her blog, Jenna Burger Design!

(Her interior design work has been featured in a ton of magazines, so be sure to visit her and check her out!)


Hi All! I’m Jenna, Interior Design + Design Blogger of Jenna Burger Design. I am thrilled that Traci has asked me to guest post today and I am going to share something I am truly passionate about… turning trash into treasure!

With the kids off from school, I have been a busy bee this Summer juggling fun activities with them + my design client work load. When I find the time to DIY, especially this time of year, the easier the project, the better.

For the project I am going to share with you today, it was simple to create + cost nothing, and the result is a big impact look for my garden. Check out my outdoor sculpture creation using metal straps from an old barrel…

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

While cleaning out the sideyard to create our new beautiful patio paradise last Spring, I came across this old wood barrel planter sitting in the corner, falling apart, and in desperate need for the trash. When the time came for the barrel to hit the garbage, there was a DIY fairy that sat on my shoulder telling me to keep the corroded metal straps that once, long ago, kept the barrel together.

I had NO IDEA what I would do with them, but in the shed they went… for months… until the revelation hit me… How about making them into a sculpture?? Hmmm… That could work!

There was part of the garden on the sideyard that was bare and instead of planting more flowers, the vacant spot was perfect for my new-found idea.

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!


This sculpture took minutes to make – probably less than 10 minutes in all! Using a drill with a metal drill bit, the Mister and I worked together and drilled 2 holes in each ring. The holes were placed directly opposite of each other.

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

Once all the holes were drilled, we aligned the top and bottom holes of each ring. We secured the rings at the top with a nut and bolt, and for the bottom, we used a 6″ tent stake which went into the ground.

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

And that was it! I rotated the rings until the positioning was just right, and then sat back to admire this trash to treasure.

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!


DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!


DIY: Outdoor Sculpture using metal straps from an old barrel.  Big impact with little work + no cost!

So what do you think? Pretty neat, right!?
What treasures have you made from trash?

Thank you so much for checking out my upcycled trash turned treasure. I hope to have inspired you! For more DIY creations + decorating tips, I would love for you to come visit me at Jenna Burger Design – I have lots of ideas to share!

You can find me on the web here: BLOGFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM

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DIY Landscaping Lighting Tutorial

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Yay!  One of my BBF (Best Blog Friends) is here today!  I cannot tell you how much I love this girl!  She is my blog sister, and I love spending time with her anytime I can, especially when it is at IKEA.  Thank you for being here, Sarah!! xoxo

PicMonkey Collage


Hello all! I’m Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick and I’m so happy to be here sharing a recent project of mine so Traci can spend some time with her girl this week. I know it’s going to be so hard for them to say goodbye to her.

I discovered years ago while stalking fancy houses (something I do often) that they all had one thing in common as I would drive past them in the evening — landscape lighting. I was determined to add some to our home and when I realized how easy and inexpensive it was, I was hooked.IMG_2564

I finally shared a detailed tutorial on my site earlier this summer and I can promise two things — no electrical experience is needed and it is actually a very simple project to take on. Once you try it you’ll be kicking yourself for not figuring it out earlier!

You can check out the how-to with tons of pictures here. It’s an easy DIY project that makes your home look just beautiful at night!

DIY landscaping tutorial

Visit Sarah and see more of her amazing DIY projects at

Thrifty Decor Chick!


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Personalized Door Mat in 10 Minutes! {DIY Playbook}

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Hey there!  I am back from the Haven Conference and a quick trip to visit Cy’s family in Georgia!  I am still trying to recover and make my way through 6 foot high piles of laundry!  Oh my!  I dislike very greatly doing laundry. 

I will be checking in with you soon with an update about our sweet host daughter, but for now, my buddies, Bridget and Casey from The DIY Playbook, are sharing a quick tutorial with us today!


I haven’t met these ladies in real life, but if they are anything like they are on their blog or in their emails, they are my kind of people!  They are super sweet and super talented!

Click HERE or on the picture below to see how to make one of these cute personalized door mats for yourself!



Have a blessed day!




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Summer Decorating for Less! {320 Sycamore}

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Today’s guest post is by one of the sweetest ladies in blogland!  For reelz!
She is as beautiful on the inside as the outside.  I met her in real life when I first started blogging, and I have always had the utmost respect for her.  She is full of grace and beauty
haven 069320slogo
I am so honored to have her guest post for me today.  Thank you, Melissa!


It all started with this:
june 2010 021 1
This truck was parked across the street and I loved colors all together here. And my wheels started turning.


I pulled out this chair that was supposed to be downstairs with the playroom table:

june 2010 090

Then a little of this: june 2010 096

She’s sitting by my front door. I couldn’t leave well enough along, sooo  july 2010 003 1

I pulled out a chunkalicious frame that used to be in my daughters’ room and stuck a flag inside. (if you ever see chunky frames at yard sales or thrift stores, BUY them!)

july 2010 005 1

Much better. See how the chair is trying to cover up the outlet? Love her even more.july 2010 006 1

I’m trying to cover up my garden hose with these ones…just pretend it isn’t there, k?

june 2010 120 1

These luscious, REAL topiaries were at Walmart.
Couldn’t put it in my cart fast enough. It used to be tiny and has just taken off.

june 2010 075 1

Here’s for the red, white, and blue!

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