Friday, June 27, 2014

Good Enough

With all the home blogs out there, featuring gorgeous, perfectly styled homes, it's very easy to think that everyone has it all together and their houses are clean and tidy all.the.time. I always straighten up before taking pictures for my blog posts. I do it, because if the post is about a rug, for example, I want you to be able to actually see the rug without the distraction of a dozen toys on it. But, in reality, my house always has toys sitting around, laundry waiting to be folded, and dishes waiting to be washed or put away.

I'm learning to be ok with the "good enough". I strive to keep our house tidy and clean, however, I realize we actually live here. I'm learning to re-adjust my expectations and be ok with the neat and relatively clean, but lived in look. I'm a perfectionist by nature, so it's not easy! The funny thing is, I'm greatly bothered when our house is messy, but I almost always choose time with my family and/or friends over cleaning. Because of this, adjusting my expectations to be ok with the "good enough" house is more freeing for my mind than my schedule. I can spend time with my family without the guilty, nagging feelings that I should be cleaning.

My friend Cary has been posting pictures of her home on facebook in their everyday look. Organized, neat, but lived in. And you know what? It's comfortable and beautiful! It's been so refreshing to see her pictures! I've been to her house a million times and it's always so welcoming. That is what I'm striving for--welcoming and comfortable.

So, today I'm posting photos of my house in its everyday state. Not trashed because that's not welcoming and comfortable either, but not perfectly styled. This is what I'm learning to be ok with. If I can maintain this, then I'll consider my house clean. This is the everyday.

There's usually always dishes drying and bills on the counter in the kitchen, but otherwise, I try to keep the kitchen clean. Nothing makes me more grumpy in the morning than a messy kitchen. Or no coffee. Ha!
Shoes, shoes, shoes, everywhere. And this is a good day! They're actually all in one spot!
Toys, toys, toys. I trip on toys approximately 572 times a day. :)
I reorganized the play room a couple days ago and Little Man has managed to keep his playroom relatively clean. Legos, trains, and stamps are out, but he plays with them constantly! This room is small and get get trashed so easily!
The dining room is one of the rooms that stays the neatest. But, it always has baby gear in it and frequently holds the remnants of our late night board games. :)
And the dreaded laundry... Always piles of laundry to fold. Always. In addition to this pile, there's currently two baskets of folded laundry upstairs waiting to be put away.
I hope it encourages you to embrace a balanced approach to your home, where toys and laundry are welcome and life is lived and enjoyed. The next time I trip over a toy or get frustrated that I haven't gotten to scrub my shower yet, someone call me and remind me of this post, ok? ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Living Room Makeover: The Rug Saga

I titled this "The Rug Saga" because nothing is ever simple! Ha!

As you know, we recently purchased new living room furniture and are in the middle of giving the room a makeover (more details here and here). Our previous rug was way too busy paired with our new chair and ottoman, so we sold it to our friends and former fabulous neighbors and it is looking wonderful in their living room!

I tend to gravitate toward coastal colors and textures and have been wanting a natural fiber rug for a couple years now. In fact, we tried one out a couple years ago, but ended up returning it because it shed worse than Chewbacca. Isn't it pretty, though? I really loved how it looked!
We love the neutral color and texture of natural fiber rugs, so decided to try our luck with another natural fiber rug. This time, we did lots of researched and invested more money into a quality rug. We went with the Jute Boucle Rug from West Elm in the Flax color. I LOVE the texture it brought to our living room! Don't get too attached, though...and definitely excuse the phone pictures.
Look at that beautiful, chunky texture!
The one thing that bugged me was how the color made our wood floors look really orange. But, I was willing to get over it because it was beautiful and exactly the look I wanted. knew that was coming, didn't you?! That wonderful, chunky texture that I loved also caused some troubles. The first three days, my feet ached and felt tired. Granted, we hadn't gotten a rug pad for it yet, so it slid around a bit. But, the chunky texture took some getting used to and that's coming from a barefoot girl with tough feet. About day four, I was used to it, though, and ready to throw away the receipt and keep it forever. Jeremy thought it was comfortable from the beginning, though, and loved the way it looked, too!

BUT...yup, another but. But not butt. Geesh. ;) Little Man started sitting on a folded blanket so "his hynie wouldn't hurt." And when Little Girl's head rubbed the rug, she cried. My goals for how I want our home to feel are light, airy, and comfortable. As wonderful as the rug was, it didn't meet the comfortable criteria for the littles, so back it went. I may or may not have told the cashier who was refunding my money that I'd be back in a few years when my babies are older to buy the rug again. Haha!

If you are looking for a great quality, thick, chunky, soft to the touch jute rug and don't have tiny babies, I'd definitely recommend the West Elm Jute Boucle rug

Back to the drawing board for us, though. I considered a solid ivory rug, but that option didn't excite me. It felt too boring. I also considered a comfy shag rug, but they don't seem like they would get matted down easily and would collect a lot of crumbs. I did a lot more research on soft, comfortable natural fiber rugs and read that a jute/chenille blended rug is the softest. I tested the Heathered Chenille Jute Rug out at Pottery Barn after reading great reviews, but it was rougher than the West Elm one I returned. Boo. The Chunky Wool and Jute Rug at Pottery Barn was so soft and had great texture, but it was out of our price range, even with the 15% off sale they had going on. 

I finally found the Bordered Jute Chenille Rug at Pottery Barn in the Honey color and knew it was perfect for our family. (It's not online, but here's a similar one.) It has a great woven herringbone pattern. The texture is much more subtle than what I was originally going for, but it's soft, durable, and comfortable and has more texture than a plain ivory rug. For this phase of life with two small kids, it's the perfect compromise!
Everything is about to be much less beige! We are in the process of painting the living room! Hooray! 
I love how durable it is and how light and airy it feels. Little Man accidentally got crayon on it, and I was able to get it off easily with a damp Magic Eraser! 

The texture is hard to see in the pictures, so here's a couple close ups for your viewing pleasure. :)
The ultimate test, though? The kids love it! No more tears or sitting on blankets! Hooray!

And as proof that our living room is usually full of toys, I had to include this picture. Look who I found hiding under the ottoman even after I picked up all the toys? Love!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Green + Blue Living Room Inspiration

Darcie, one of my favorite friends ever, texted me a picture of her couch the other day and asked for my advice on how to decorate her living room. I'm a decorating nerd and thrive on this stuff, so decided to make her a mood board of inspiration. I'm also very indecisive, so just had to give her options. 

She's starting off with beige walls and is planning to slipcover the couch. We originally could only find affordable dark colored slipcovers, so the color scheme was intended to brighten everything up. However, last night, I found an inexpensive beige slip cover! I was super excited, as the beige slipcover will really help keep things bright and cheery!

For the hard furniture, I was thinking something on the darker side, like this media console or this ladder bookshelf. I like how they contrast with the light colored couch. 
My main inspiration for colors came from the green and blue ikat pillow on the left. I love how bright and cheery it is! I shopped around and found a few other pillow options that Darcie could mix and match with the ikat pillow. Pillows are so fun and make such an impact! 
For curtains, I found a teal/blue fabric and a green fabric that could easily be made into curtain panels with straight stitches or hemming tape and hung using drapery clips. The option on the far right are ready made curtains that incorporated both the green and blue from the ikat pillow. 
 These rugs all coordinate well with the ikat pillow and can be mixed and matched with the curtain choices. I love that they are patterned, but won't compete with the ikat pillows.
I pulled together a few accent pieces that would work well in the room. I LOVE the painting and really like how it incorporates the blue, but also introduces a pretty coral color to the mix. The big, blue vase is so pretty! It is on my own list of things I'm saving for at the moment. I've been wanting to DIY a version of the grass container. I like how it is a mix of modern and rustic! The wooden lamp and dark basket add some depth to the colors and keeps things from being too pastel. The basket would be great for toys!
Here's a few of the items all pulled together!
I hope that this inspires you, Darcie! The full source list is below in case you like any of the items!

Light Blue Trellis Rug
Spa Blue Trellis Rug
Ocean Trellis Rug

Blue Empire Toss Pillow
Teal Basketweave Pillow
Green and Blue Ikat Pillow
Green Fergano Toss Pillow
Green Dot Pillow

Turquoise Waverly Strands Fabric
HGTV Curl Up Citrine Fabric
Kirklands Grand Manor Curtains

Beige Sofa Slipcover
Media Stand
Ladder Bookshelf

Faux Grass
Blue Vase
Blossom Painting
Ava Tote Basket
Turned Lamp

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Purple Carrot + A Giveaway!

***Update! Giveaway Closed! I used to select a winner and the winner is... Julie J! Congrats, friend!***

I have a special feature and giveaway for you today! My former 5th grade teacher (how fun is that?!) Mary Lee runs an Etsy shop called The Purple Carrot featuring unique handmade books, vintage items, and hand sewn items. Take a look!

I LOVE this owl backpack! How adorable are these?!
This is one of her handmade books. She has blank journals, catechism books for children, and children's sermon notebooks.
Here's a better view of the binding. I love how unique it is and that it is designed to lay flat when opened. 
I love the beads on the binding of this journal! Such a nice touch! 
This teal chevron pattern is my favorite! I bought the journal version of this book to document little moments and conversations with my kids. It will be a great keepsake for our family!
The sermon notebooks are such a great idea! Perfect for engaging kids and keeping their attention in church as they get older. 
This catechism book is so pretty! She carries the catechism books in 3 different catechism versions to suit your needs. 
I thought these clothing hanger tags were a great idea! Have your kids pick out their outfits for the week, label them for each day of the week, then have them hanging in the closet to make the mad dash out the door goes smoother!
Check out all of her items at The Purple Carrot!

Mary Lee was so generous and is giving one of YOU a book of your choice up to $20! To enter, take a look at her Etsy shop, then come back and comment here or on my facebook page and let me know what's your favorite item in her shop. Giveaway will close on Friday night and the winner will be announced on Saturday! Be sure to like The Purple Carrot on facebook to stay up to date on new products! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Five on Friday

Five things I'm loving lately!

1. My Thoughtful Hubby- Last night, Jeremy randomly hugged me and told me thanks for making our house so homey. I asked him what he meant and he said he noticed the books and succulent on the drum stool and could tell I had spent time figuring out how to arrange it and make it look nice. It was so thoughtful and makes all the effort put into our home worth it. I love that man! He just gets me. :)
2. Park & Rec- I know, I know...we're way behind on that boat. But, in our defense, we tried to watch it a while ago, but Season 1 is not the best. We recently tried it out again and once we hit Season 2, we were hooked. We haven't found a show since The Office that makes us laugh this hard!
Image Credit:

3. Summer Time- I hate the heat, but I love being able to get outside! We've been enjoying gardening, running in the sprinklers, frequenting the park, family walks, and just relaxing on the front porch.
4. Mad Love Lianne Flip Flops- I got them for 50% off yesterday at Target and they are amazing! They are very lightweight and cushy! Gotta have a comfy pair of flip flops for the summer!
Image Credit: Target

5. BBQ Chopped Salad- I know this is totally random! I've started seeing chopped salad kits popping up at the grocery store lately. I love the BBQ kit! I'm not a huge salad eater, but I actually crave this one!
Image Credit:
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Living Room Makeover: Drum Stool

Quick living room update today! We needed an end table to go next to the arm chair, but didn't want to add another piece of dark wood furniture or another rectangle to the room. I started thinking about alternative options and remembered seeing garden drum stools used for end tables. A quick online search later, and I found this adorable drum stool!
It is unlike anything I usually buy, but I liked how the detail was a slight nod to the design in the chair. I, of course, consulted my friend Amy who loved it, too, and encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and go for it! I'm so happy I did!
The price was much less than a traditional end table and I like that it isn't too visually heavy. It's the perfect place to set a cup of coffee in the morning!
Funny story... I had never called it a drum stool in front of Little Man. However, the second I set it in the living room, he walked over to it and started drumming away. Haha!

Be back soon with a rug update! Did you catch a glimpse of it in these pictures?

Linking up to Migonis Home Summer Celebration!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Your Makeup Favorites

Thanks to all of you who weighed in with makeup advice after I posted this sorry cry for help! :) I loved reading your comments on here and on facebook! As promised, I'm sharing the list of all the favorite foundations and concealers so everyone can benefit!

1. Benefit Erase Paste
2. Bare Minerals Foundation
3. Bare Minerals Well Rested
4. Benefit Fake Up Concealer
5. Revlon Colorstay
6. Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Concealer
7. Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer
8. Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen

9. Avon Anew Retroactive Repair Eye Serum 
Want to know what I ended up purchasing?

For concealer, I decided to try Bare Minerals Well Rested, but accidentally picked up Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Concealer instead. It is really good, though! It does not completely get rid of my under eye circles, but it greatly reduces them and looks natural. It stays on extremely well and doesn't settle into creases.
As far as foundation, I really like Bare Minerals and loved this pressed set that came in a compact, zippered case. It seemed so easy and low maintenence and I liked that it came with all the makeup components I would need to get started. However, it was expensive, so it took a couple months to work into the budget. While we were saving for it, I read this post by Kate at The Small Things where she reviewed Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. (Side note- If you're into hair and makeup, you have to read her blog! Love it!) She said that she was a Bare Minerals user for years, but that the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation blew Bare Minerals out of the water. I decided to try it and really, really like it! It can be sheer, or you can build it up for more coverage and it stays on all day long! I'm really happy with it and shocked at how well this powder stays put!
I also bought the Tarte Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush and it is the most amazing brush I've ever used! It is crazy soft and very dense! I highly recommend it regardless of what powder foundation you use! It is well worth the money! 
Thank you all SO much for your advice! I'm getting less sleep than ever these days, but at least I don't have to look so sleep deprived anymore! ;)

Image Credits: Ulta, Amazon, Sephora, Skyn Iceland
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