Jul 9, 2014

Nursery Plans

Hello, all! I am finally updating after a major motivation struggle. I hit my third trimester a few weeks back and all I can say is, "Wow." I am really feeling it! I had a great first two trimesters and then it was like I walked into a wall of exhaustion and laziness. Not to mention, summer in Texas is brutal on anyone's body, especially a 31 week pregnant lady's body.

In the spirit of baby talk, I am writing today about my plans for #3's nursery. After eight months of living in this house, we have done hardly any decorating in the room that will become the new baby's nursery. My other two girls are currently sleeping in this room, but I am transitioning them to another room that will become the "big girl room" (more on that in the future).

I've had the inspiration for this room ever since I spotted this floral Anthropologie wallpaper. It's pricey, so I am only doing an accent wall, but isn't it so feminine and sweet?


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Note that there is no glider/rocker pictured on this inspiration board. I love this classic Pottery Barn one, but it's out of my price range. I am planning to recover my existing rocker, with the help of my mom- hopefully I am successful and can post the result soon!

Jun 17, 2014

She Reads Truth: Ruth

Happy Tuesday, everyone (its only 12:07 am, but it still counts.) I'm venturing today to another non house-related topic...

Have you every heard of the online Bible study community, She Reads Truth? It's truly amazing. It is an eMinistry that provides free online Bible studies, as well as beautifully illustrated study packs you can order. (Check out this one that my absolute favorite blogger, Jones Design Company, illustrated for SRT). As soon as you click on the She Reads Truth homepage, you are welcomed with inspiring, feminine graphics and an organized menu of study options. 



There are lots of ways to connect with other She Reads Truth participants, such as Facebook, and hashtags for statuses and Instagram captions. Its an awesome way for busy ladies in any stage of life to connect in a simple, yet meaningful way.

Yesterday, I began the new She Reads Truth study on Ruth. This study, like the rest of their studies available, are scripture-centered, yet short and to-the-point (which is exactly what this busy wife and mom needs these days). The Ruth series focuses on how our ordinary stories are made extraordinary through God's powerful plan. I especially love this premise, because it is the very foundation for Pretty Little House!

Therefore, I wanted to invite you to join me on this study of Ruth. I will be posting about it along the way, hopefully with a few parallels to homes/contentment/etc.  I would love nothing more than to hear how God impacts your life through it!

Jun 11, 2014

What to Do Wednesday: Ugly Leather Couches

We've all seen them. Hand-me-down bachelor couches your husband just couldn't part with after your wedding. Cast-offs from your parents 90s "Santa Fe Chic" phase. Garage sale bargains you swore you'd only keep for a few months while you saved up for something else. I've heard so many stories of friends "stuck" with a leather eye sore couch, unsure how to decorate around it.

Don't get me wrong, not all leather couches are ugly. I've coveted this Restoration Hardware beauty for years. But stylish versions of these hide-covered monstrosities are few and far between. 

If you have found yourself "stuck" with a leather couch (or couches) that you less than love, there is hope. You CAN find a way to love your space and be content with your unwanted sofa (even if it's bossy presence screams at you every time you see it).

Here are a few tips:

1. Choose neutrals.
Let's face it: your leather couch is probably in the range of poop brown to burnt chocolate (or if you're really lucky, you own a black, white, or navy variation). You can try to fight against it, but attempting to mask the brown with a rainbow of colors will only make it look like you did exactly that. Instead, embrace a neutral and color palette that compliments the leather. If you must have color, choose one or two muted tones (such a a grayish plum or ashy teal), and pair those colors with the neutrals. Keep it simple; over accessorizing your couch to "cover it up" will only make it look like an overly-frosted cupcake. Which leads me to my next point...

2. Don't overpower with textiles.
Pillows and throws are great accessories and can hide imperfections, as well as draw in the overall color scheme of the room. But as I mentioned above, throwing a mass of textiles over your couch will actually draw your eye towards it, instead of making it blend with the overall aesthetic. Choose a few pillows in the same or coordinating prints, and one throw maximum, and be sure to add pillows with the same patterns on other other seating, as well.

3. Match the scale.
This may be the most important point yet. Don't attempt to put a petite, French country accent chair next to your bulky leather couch. It just won't work. Match the scale (size, height, appropriate width) of your existing couch. This will make your room seem more cohesive, and draw attention away from the leather sofa. A large chair and Ottoman in a neutral fabric, for example, will help your couch look like it belongs. (Disclaimer: If you are just starting out, or if your spouse or,roommate adores the leather couch, please know that I know you may not to have an opportunity to afford anything different, or find something you can both agree on. If you are ever able to obtain a complimentary piece, keep the scale in mind. Try to stick to your guns and remember your overall vision for the room).

To put my tips into practice, I created this mood board for inspiration. I hope it gives someone out there a bit of hope! Enjoy.

Jun 3, 2014

Utility Room Update + Temporary Wallpaper Fail

My husband thought I was crazy for wanting to decorate our utility room. It's an otherwise boring and mundane area one could easily overlook. But I love the welcoming feel of a decorated laundry room // utility room // storage space. It makes the area so inviting, which really can't hurt when it comes to laundry and housework-related spaces.


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I gathered my favorite elements from each picture and decided on what I specifically wanted in my pantry/laundry/utility room:
• beadboard
• shelves
• baskets (lots of them!)
• soft light fixture
• wallpaper

Fortunately, our home was built with the pantry shelves. Such an awesome bonus! The floors were also existing, which I love having (easy to clean + pretty contrast).

The first step was installing the beadboard. My husband is so good to me, and he sacrificed time out of his busy schedule to install and paint them. We decided not to extend the beadboard between the shelves because, honestly, it would have been a lot of work!


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I picked out my wallpaper (see pic above) at Target. It was very affordable- around $30 a roll. Since half of our accent wall was taken with beadboard, I figured I would have a little left over to hang above the washer and dryer.



Here's where it gets sticky (pardon the pun). Wallpaper is just not an easy task. I knew this going in, but I thought surely my perfectionism coupled with my husband's expertise would give us a leg up. I was wrong!

We got one strip up with no problem. When we went to hang the other strip, we realized the pattern repeat was not designed so you could just start back up right next to where you left off. So instead, we decided to overlap it. 


Worst idea yet. The paper crumpled and was uneven in places, and the more we took it off and re-adhered it, the more it damaged the existing paper and the new strip. We gave up after that.

But I'm determined to finish this project. I think it will look great if I do a little more measuring and tweaking. (And I will probably have to buy a second roll of wallpaper!)

What about you? Have you ever tried wallpaper, temporary or regular? I would love to hear your tips and tricks!

May 22, 2014

When Your Pretty Little House Doesn't Look the Way You Planned




I wanted to take this post to transition to a more meaningful subject matter. This has been on my heart for a long time, and is a huge part of the timing and calling of Pretty Little House. It's lengthy, but worth the read.

Before my husband and I got married, we looked to buy a small starter house to begin our new life in. We had dreams of finding a charming "fixer-upper." We found a few options, but nothing fell into place, and we decided to rent for the time being.

Shortly after we got married, we became pregnant with our first little girl. We knew she would be born while we still lived in the apartment, but we hoped to find a house to transition into shortly after.

We never felt a solid "yes" from the Lord, and we decided to rent an apartment again. Since our family was still small, we weren't very upset and we knew we could make it. Shortly after we moved to our new apartment, we became pregnant with our second little girl. We instantly went into panic mode and started planning how we could find a home for our growing family. We qualified for a loan, and after a long search, we put an offer on the perfect house, and it was accepted. Perfect, right? Nope.

We were set to close when we got a call from our bank telling us that there had been a change in my husband's credit and we no longer qualified for our loan. A silly student loan payment mistake he had made months before had completely dashed our dreams.

We. Were. Devastated. We had to renew our lease on our apartment, and accept the hard truth that we would become a family of four in a two bedroom, second story apartment.

Shortly after we accepted our situation, we began to feel God's peace settle in. We felt a strong sense of security and provision. We trusted the Lord and prayed that he would bring something better in His timing. And He did. A few months later, our credit had begun to repair, and we began construction on a brand new home in the same neighborhood as the precious house we had previously lost.

Along this journey, the Lord taught me an incredible lesson. Even though I did not have what I thought I "deserved" in terms of a home, He equipped me with the desire and ability to make the most of my dwelling place. Though I know this earth is not my permanent home, I feel that God put a special place in my heart for filling my home with love and beauty, no matter how little or how much we had. A spirit of contentment reigned in my heart- and this has spurred me on to pursue my design company, so that I can encourage others to do the same- no matter their living situation.

Let me be clear- I don't believe that a "pretty little" house is solely about the interior decor. It's so much more! I believe your house becomes a home when you fill it with gratitude, love, and care. It is about placing your focus on what honors God, and what brings joy to you and your family. Possessions are secondary. I find joy in my hobby of decorating, but I see it as just that- a hobby. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a home filled with the Lord's presence and love. THIS is the basis for Pretty Little House! 

I hope you are blessed and encouraged by this message, whether you are reading it from a mud hut in Uganda, or a mansion in Beverly Hills. YOUR house is a "pretty little house" when YOU decide that it is.

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