And so it begins…

And so it begins…

We moved into our house 10 years ago. Before we moved in, I men­tioned that I really didn’t like the tile in the kitchen. Or the builder grade oak cab­i­nets. I mean, they are func­tional. But not the most aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing. To me, anyway.

Ten years ago…

We’ve toyed with mov­ing closer to town. It became the fam­ily joke… In the spring, we will look at putting the house on the mar­ket. That was about 5 years ago. And every year since. So, if we were mov­ing, we cer­tainly didn’t want to spend the time, money, or drama get­ting the kitchen updated. Made per­fect sense.

But this year, we resigned our­selves to stay­ing put in our house. We are NOT going to sell it. We actu­ally love where we live. The prop­erty is beau­ti­ful, and pri­vate, and quiet. It’s just a long drive to get any­where. But it is quiet. And we like it.

So, that puts the kitchen projects back on the front burner, where they belonged 10 years ago.

And so my days have been filled with school­ing, pick­ing tile for the floor, music lessons, choos­ing the gran­ite counter tops, horse lessons, select­ing the PAINT (hard­est deci­sion ever), laun­dry, meals, and recon­sid­er­ing all the options above. Every­one says how fun it is. And, well, it is a fun con­cept. I can’t wait for it to all come together. But I also can’t wait to have all the deci­sions made.

So, I thought I would jour­nal our progress here over the next cou­ple of months. Hope­fully it won’t take that long to get it all done.

And I will add pic­tures of the progress.


Goodwill Treasure

Goodwill Treasure

I took my girls to the Good­will store the other day. We were search­ing for var­i­ous items. Skirts and such for the girls.

I always love look­ing at the odd things. Won­der­ing what I might find stashed among the var­i­ous bas­kets and triv­ets and what­ever those things are. Most of the time I come up empty handed.

This time I found an old Sam­sonite Train Case. It looks like it was almost never used. It is so pretty in all its but­tery yel­low glory.

train case

It took me back to when I was a lit­tle girl. My mom had one of these. She stored her make up in it when we trav­eled. I always loved play­ing with it. As I looked this old piece of lug­gage over, I was 6 again. Those latches felt the same as they did back then: sturdy, firm, and oh, so click­able! I used to open and shut it con­stantly. {My dear mother is prob­a­bly read­ing this, just shak­ing her head laugh­ing because she had no idea. Makes me won­der what mem­o­ries my chil­dren will have that I am obliv­i­ous to!}

So, I did what any other woman miss­ing her mama would do: I bought it.

Now what? Haha. It’s not like you can take it on an air­plane these days. And since most air­lines charge per checked bag, I can’t see check­ing it either. I haven’t rid­den in any trains lately.

So, I googled train cases.

train case knitting

Have you ever done that? You might be sur­prised with what you find. I know I was. Peo­ple do so many dif­fer­ent things with these old cases.

Sewing boxes. Make-up kit. Knit­ting box. Craft cen­ter. Writ­ing center.

train case writing station

 ele­ments of style

Charg­ing sta­tion! Who thinks of these things? I men­tioned in another post how I am not good about think­ing out­side of the box. This time it is lit­eral! I love this idea.


train case charging station

cool mom tech

What do you think? What would you do with your vin­tage train case? What should I do? I’m really lov­ing the charg­ing sta­tion idea. How con­ve­nient that would be to have them all together charg­ing in my sleep. But I also like the writ­ing sta­tion idea. Note cards, sta­tionery, stamps, and a cou­ple of pens all tucked neatly out of the way.

Oh! And I can add some style to it with some vinyl. Or decoupage.

 train case maps


So many options. I was so over­whelmed with the ideas out there, that I started a Pin­ter­est page for Train Cases! Go check it out.

Oh! I for­got to men­tion I found some of those old Pyrex refrig­er­a­tor dishes. Yup, I’m miss­ing my mom.

pyrex greens


Fea­tured Image Credits

Maybe I’m Not The Only One With Dust Bunnies

Maybe I’m Not The Only One With Dust Bunnies

Remem­ber when I wrote about dust bun­nies and my fan­tasy of hav­ing a blog ded­i­cated to home décor? I’m still work­ing on my issues.

But, I came across two blog posts from The Nester which dis­cusses this very topic. Do you know The Nester? She has one of those great blogs that shows won­der­ful dec­o­rat­ing ideas, but stresses that “It doesn’t have to be per­fect to be beau­ti­ful.” I love her. She speaks my language.

Any­way, I thought I would share the links here so that you can read some of her sim­ple ideas to help your house look even better.

One of her ideas that I par­tic­u­larly loved was the idea that you can take your screens off your win­dows. Okay, I should know this one already. When we lived in Eng­land, we had no screens. I adored not hav­ing screens. Every­thing looked so clear and beau­ti­ful look­ing out. You didn’t have to look through that dark screen to the out­side. It just adds so much more light. But for some rea­son, I never brought the idea back home to the US. Where we live, we don’t really have bugs. Oh, except dur­ing moth sea­son. Hmmm. I’ll have to rethink that one. Think “The Birds” only in minia­ture. Scary. Not that I have actu­ally ever seen “The Birds,” but I can imag­ine. Any­way, if you don’t have a moth sea­son like we do, it might work for you. It’s glorious.

nester windowsthe nester

The first blog post is Three Weird Rea­sons My House Looks Decent Online. I couldn’t help but won­der if she was talk­ing to me. Like she knows I exist. Yeah, prob­a­bly not.

The sec­ond one is actu­ally my favorite of the two: 3 Ways My House Looks Worse In Real Life. Maybe she just makes me feel bet­ter about where I’m at.

nester messythe nester

Oh, and did you see the idea about the fire­place? It points out one impor­tant thing to me: I am a rule fol­lower. Who knew you could take the glass out of the gas fire­place? Seri­ously? I would never have con­sid­ered doing that! But I have always hated that glass. I scowl at it often. It just takes away so much from the effect of the fire­place. I have dreamed of mak­ing that fire­place pretty when not in use. Which is about 6 weeks in the sum­mer, on good years. Assum­ing win­ter ended early and starts late. Yes, I exag­ger­ate. But not by much. I thought I was stretch­ing things when I took all the brass accents and painted them black. I am not a fan of brass. But I love black accents. It made a huge dif­fer­ence. After the fact, we won­dered if we used the right paint, was it going to melt and get paint all over the floor…So far, 6 years later, it is still black and no paint on the floor. I guess we did okay.

So, in addi­tion to learn­ing some great ideas for improv­ing the way my home looks, I also learned that I need to think out­side of the box more.

Which is the cat­a­lyst for another post com­ing soon. I went to Good­will and found some­thing cool. And I am try­ing to think out­side of the box about it. More details to fol­low soon!

On Dust Bunnies and Decorating Blogs

On Dust Bunnies and Decorating Blogs

I’ve always dreamed of hav­ing a blog that show­cases my beau­ti­ful, per­fectly staged home. I so love look­ing at those stun­ning pic­tures with every­thing per­fectly in place. They are so serene, so gor­geous. They inspire me.

But then I look around and laugh.

The thing is, I love that sort of thing. I love dec­o­rat­ing, inte­rior design, mak­ing things beau­ti­ful. It’s just that my house is not the show­case I feel it would need to be in order to pull off some­thing like that.

How do you get a house­ful of chil­dren {Or their toys. Or laun­dry. Or what­ever else they are drag­ging around.} out of the camera’s eye long enough to take those stun­ning pictures?

I can get dis­cour­aged. I remem­ber a day when my house was spot­less. We even had a maid back then.

That was before chil­dren. We don’t have a maid any­more. I think I did the maid thing backwards.

I love to dream and imag­ine my house with just the right paint color, the coor­di­nat­ing fur­ni­ture in per­fect condition.

I have a beau­ti­ful leather sofa. With a flower gar­den painted on the back of it with a black Sharpie marker. It’s quite striking.

I really don’t see it any­more, but I know every­one else does. It’s actu­ally the first thing you see when you walk in my house. It’s right there after the entry­way, into the liv­ing room. All its glory star­ing right at you.

Faith did that when she was about 2. She wanted to make it pretty for me. I never got angry at her for it. I thought it was pre­cious. She drew that for me? Aw. I mean, I was shocked at first, but never upset. But it won’t make the gor­geous pho­tos I see in the blogosphere.

I have a mish­mash of things col­lected from around the world. Our home is warm and invit­ing, or so I like to think. But we live here. ALL of us. So that doesn’t make for gor­geous inte­rior design photos.

I think my strug­gle is more about being con­tent than it is with hav­ing a per­fect home.  I find that I can become dis­con­tent because I never seem to have time to get to those things. I long for sum­mer break so that I have at least a few hours freed up in my day. Not that those hours aren’t taken by some­thing else. In so many ways we have such beauty and delight. We have been blessed abun­dantly. Yet, we get bogged down with the stuff, the dust bun­nies, just the keep­ing up with the basics, sel­dom get­ting to the Martha Stew­art (or who­ever is the go-to per­son for design today…I’ve lost track) in us.

I decided years ago, after many tears and frus­tra­tions, that I needed to let the things give a bit in order to prop­erly take care of the more impor­tant things in my life: my fam­ily. I decided that lov­ing my chil­dren, bear­ing patiently with them, pour­ing out my life for them was way more impor­tant than per­fec­tion in my home. I’d rather have them under­stand the per­fec­tion of Christ in the imper­fec­tion of life. I want them to know that I value them way above hav­ing things just look that way.

I know some peo­ple seem to pull it off. I admire them. I don’t really know how things go in their home, if the chil­dren feel val­ued and loved. They seem to, so I don’t have rea­son to doubt that. These moms must be way more on top of their game than I ever will be.

Yes, we still like it tidy around here. It’s just that we don’t always achieve the “photo ready” stan­dard. Okay, not just always, often. I look at those pho­tos and can’t find a sin­gle dust bunny or cob­web. How do they do that? How do they find time to make every­thing always look so good? Maybe we are only get­ting a shot at the one room that they poured into for that photo. Maybe just on the other side of the cam­era is chaos.

But maybe not.

I feel like Mrs. Tit­tle­mouse. You know. From Beat­rix Potter’s book. She’s a tidy lit­tle mouse who has all these insects pop­ping by unex­pect­edly leav­ing lit­tle dirty foot­prints every­where. She’s con­stantly clean­ing up behind them. She’s adorable.

Mrs Tittlemouse 2

I feel her pain.

But the crea­tures mak­ing the dirty lit­tle foot­prints in her home are not her beloved chil­dren. They are unin­vited guests. Surely that makes a dif­fer­ence. Or maybe not. I sup­pose our hearts should be wel­com­ing of whomever the Lord puts into our homes to min­is­ter to, chil­dren or strangers. Some­times we are incon­ve­nienced by peo­ple we don’t actu­ally love.

But I sup­pose that’s another post for another day.

For now, I will con­tinue to move along in my life, min­is­ter­ing to my chil­dren {and beloved hus­band, of course}, enjoy­ing other peo­ples’ gor­geous dec­o­rat­ing blogs. Try­ing not to envy. But being refreshed by view­ing their beau­ti­ful photos.

And gig­gling at my leather sofa graced with the gift from Faith.

Mrs Tittlemouse

I sup­pose the tidi­ness will come again one day. Unfor­tu­nately, that will most likely come with a house empty of chil­dren with dirty feet. I’d rather fight the dust bun­nies than think of the days with­out them.

I linked over at Joy­ous Notions.



Have you heard of CHI yet? CHI stands for Chris­t­ian Home Indus­try, whose focus is on help­ing pro­mote indus­tri­ous homes. And, to get the word out about them and what they offer, they have part­nered with a few home indus­tries to give away a taste of what they have to offer.

 x for chi

Chris­t­ian Home Indus­try started as a desire to help Chris­t­ian home-based busi­nesses develop broader aware­ness of their prod­ucts, and has devel­oped into a com­pre­hen­sive online mar­ket­place that pro­motes both our ven­dors and the con­cept of the indus­tri­ous fam­ily that dri­ves them.



One of the give­aways is a $50 gift cer­tifi­cate to Fruit­ful Vine Cre­ations! You can put the cer­tifi­cate towards any let­ter­ing pur­chase, either cus­tom or in the store. How great is that? All you have to do is enter your name and email address to be entered to win.

You don’t have to stand on your head, take a pic­ture and share it on Pin­ter­est! They are keep­ing it easy for you!

It's harder than it looks!

It’s harder than it looks!


You can go here to enter the giveaway.

If you want more ways to enter, you can share the con­test on your social media avenues. For every one per­son who signs up because you linked them to the con­test, you get 5 more entries! I have no idea how they track that stuff, but appar­ently they do. Con­test closes June 7, 2013, at mid­night. So, you still have time to spread the word.

So, what would you want if you won? Would you keep the let­ter­ing for your­self or give it as a gift? You could even buy mul­ti­ple things if you wanted.

Fruitful Vine Creations

Fruit­ful Vine Creations


I don’t know how they keep track of who enters and from where,  and I don’t know if you’ll win. But I do know that if you don’t enter, you won’t win! So go do it! Maybe it will be you!



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