Monthly Archives: February 2015

New Family Room Artwork

A few days stuck inside will make you suddenly want to post a lot of photos to your blog that you’ve been saving up for weeks. Ha!

A few weeks I hinted to a new piece of artwork I had purchased for our family room. I am a cheapskate when it comes to my own home decor, mainly because I switch it out constantly. I probably rearrange our furniture in most rooms monthly. I trade out decor from room to room as the mood strikes me. Because of this, it makes sense for me not to spend lots of dollars on accessories. And to me, art is an accessory. If you buy the right kind of art, it can be moved from room to room on any given day.

Again, bear with my iPhone photos. My camera and I have not been best buds lately, so I need to get back in the hang of using it and uploading to my laptop regularly. For now, this will work.

I bought this large Love You Madly piece of art from Hobby Lobby on clearance for $40. FORTY DOLLARS. Easy. It’s light. It’s neutral. It’s sweet. I love it. 

My sister-in-law loved it so much that she went and snagged one for her new master bedroom and we hung it up in there when I was working in her home last month. Again, I loved it there, too.

Here are some quick photos. And if you’ve ever kind of wanted to see how our floor plan is, the whole room photo above (and another one further down) gives you a small idea. The huge wall of windows to the right of the photo are overlooking the backyard and pool. To the left of the room past the staircase is our front door. Back in the left corner of the photo is our little piano / reading nook. My office / craft room is behind this fireplace wall.

Close up detail of the piece. I am in love with the light grey wood frame.

My little grey-blue table is from World Market. It has been so versatile and I have used it in probably 4 rooms already.

Next on my list for this room is a raw wood piece that goes over the fireplace. We have never been able to use this wood-burning fireplace because it is too broken up inside to safely use, but that is on our long list of things to renovate in the future. My early years were spent living in an old log cabin with a massive wood-burning stone fireplace and winter just doesn’t feel like winter without a real fire roaring and popping. My Floridian husband doesn’t agree, but that’s okay. 😉 He has his gas fireplace downstairs in the man cave.

Maybe next winter I’ll post a photo of a beautiful fire in this space.

xoxo, Amanda

Modern Farmhouse Style

Good morning!

I’m so excited to share a very fun decor post for you today! This one is special to my heart because it is my brother and sis-in-law’s old/new home!

They purchased a beautiful piece of land out in the Tennessee countryside, nearby the same area that my brother and I were born and grew up in, and it had an old farmhouse on the property. A little old lady had lived there for years and it was pretty shabby looking. As in, horrifying. I have seen the pictures and they were not exaggerating! Josh and Becky gutted the entire house and redid it with a much better layout and and a lovely feel. It’s all amazing. I will do a more intensive post later on with real camera photos and before and afters when I’ve been back to visit, but for now I wanted to share what I came in and did for them right after they moved in. I was in a traveling rush that weekend, so you’ll have to settle for my iPhone pics I snapped on this one.

Before I post any of this, I have to tell you that Becky knows her stuff. She knows her decor and knows what she likes, but she asked for my help actually putting it all together. And I know that feeling. I know what I like and don’t like, but sometimes it can be difficult to see the vision when you’ve been looking at it over and over. Fresh eyes are perfect. And I was the fresh pair of eyes!

Her first concern was the above little corner in the main living area. Laundry room door to the right, opening to the family room to the left and I was standing in the kitchen / keeping room area when I took the photo. So, it’s a tight little spot, but you don’t want to just leave it empty. I knew it could serve a purpose and I’m a sucker for a little reading spot. Plus, this gorgeous clock was butted up against the fireplace mantle on a tiny little wall space and I didn’t like it.

I believe the blue chair was new from World Market and then the hand-painted photo frame on the wall is one I helped my mom purchase for Becky for Christmas from my local friend, Sara Ella Cole, who makes these frames for her company Delta Girl Frames. They are gorgeous! And I felt that it was perfect in this space.

Up next on our quick list was the keeping room and I love this area! This is the first living area you see when you walk in the house. Becky had already purchased the two chairs and everything you see here except for the poufs. I had picked those up from my Target in Nashville before I headed into town and surprised her with them. I got them for a steal at $29.98 each. Target SCORE!

The wreath on the mantle was from Target and we hung it with some ribbon and tacked it to the back of this chalkboard for some layering. Our favorite part of this entire spot is that gorgeous cow. I love that cow. I wish you could see it in person, but the colors are so rich and it has so much depth. There is a coordinating sheep art piece in the dining room that you will see in a second. I had purchased the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” mugs for Josh & Becky for Christmas from Lindsay Letters and they just looked perfect sitting by the fireplace! Blue mason jars on the raw wood mantlepiece by the white brick was just something I couldn’t help but put together. All of these things I shopped for in Becky’s basement of items. It was lots of fun!

Here’s another view of the space:

And another view looking from the dining room area:

I just love it! It is so cozy looking and just the right amount of color with a simple and clean look. Now, again, this is not finished. You’ll notice there is no rug, but they had just moved in that previous week and we worked with what we already had, which was quite a bit!

The last room I had a chance to work in was their dining area. Their chairs had not arrived yet, but you get a feel for what it look like when they do.

The large art piece is one that I love and one of my goals before I drove back to Nashville with my kids that day was to hang artwork on the walls for them. I was soooo happy to get that large piece up before my brother got home to surprise him! And the sheep! Who doesn’t love that adorable sheep?

I also worked hard to get the little table vignette set up on that empty wall beneath the sheep. I used her antique scale and the letter “B”s from Anthropologie and Hobby Lobby and her little brown cow creamer. More of her collected glass jugs were used underneath.

For the dining room table, I wanted it to be simple but contrast so I just used the candles and the chicken wire terrarium for the center. This can obviously be moved when the table is being used, but on a normal day it’s perfect! Again, this area needs a rug of some type, but we will work on that more when I go back to complete the job.

I hope you enjoyed this quick little tour of what I was up to in January near the Chattanooga area. Lots of fun and I can’t wait to have the entire place complete and photographed for you. And thanks to Josh and Becky for trusting me to do the work for them! The house has been a labor of love for them and I wanted it to feel very special as soon as they finally were able to move in.






when it all seems too much.

Sometimes I start to slowly lose my mind.

Sometimes I think I might not make it through another day without some more help at home.

Sometimes I can’t get out of bed because everything just seems too much.

I usually do fine trying to take care of everything myself and I try my best not to complain to others who might have an extra kid or two than me or to others that work full-time all day or to others that are actually single parents. Because my life is actually pretty awesome. It’s just my mind gets overwhelmed and I often have a hard time bringing everything back into focus. Sometimes I need help with that. Thankfully, I have people who offer to help me. But let’s start out with what happened….

For an entire week, SEVEN DAYS, we have been without hot water in our home. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world….I totally get that. BUT, it is a massive nuisance. You can’t wash your laundry, you can’t clean your body, you can’t clean your HAIR, and you can’t clean your dishes.

Let’s add on top of that I’m supposed to be hosting a baby shower in my home in about 5 days.

And that I’m supposed to be finishing up a room in a client’s house by Friday for a party.

And that I’ve been up to my eyeballs in stress over what necessary procedures to deal with on this house that needs major work, including this water heater issue, which is now all starting this week. (Yes, before the party. But I’m not slowing the work down. I’m happy for it to start!)

And most importantly to me right now, trying to get my design & staging business all sorted out and off the ground with pretty much no time leftover for myself. That is the worst kind of frustration.

Then this.

This “ice storm.”

Wow. I have about a gazillion errands that I need to deal with this week and my kids have been home from school for 6 days straight now due to break and then snow days and I haven’t had a true hot shower since last Tuesday.

Friends, I don’t know about you, but that’s sounds like just about enough for one normal week.

But here’s the lovely side I have tried so desperately to focus on.

My husband and my friends who have offered to help me out.

I don’t ask for help. Not real help, at least. It is hard for me and I usually try to keep chugging along. I was taught to figure things out on your own. It is embarrassing for me to ask for help usually. That is a downfall in a lot of ways.

Thankfully, three of my closest friends offered for me to come to their homes this last week and shower myself and the kids and do laundry. Chad ended up using water from pots heated on the stove and the YMCA when he could. (Other not-as-close friends and even a mere acquaintance offered to help and I was very touched by their generosity even though we didn’t have the chance to take them up on it.)

And then yesterday, when it seemed like I might lose my mind, Chad came home from work and knew that I was shutting down. My sweet husband spent his free time heating up probably 20-something pots of water on the stove and running them up and down the stairs, one after the other, to make a continuous bath so the kids and I could wash up. It was the kindest gesture I never would have thought to ask for.

Because of what he did, I was able to wake up clean this morning. Refreshed. A new outlook on the day. And thank the Lord for the sunshine today.

I took a little bit of time to myself mid-morning and walked around the Back .40 of our property and just took in the beauty. These photos could never do it justice. It is like walking through a natural ice castle back there. The sun shining on these trees make them look like glittering diamonds over every single surface. It is truly a glorious sight!

I know the ice and snow will melt. I know that I will soon have hot water and won’t be bathing like Laura Ingalls any longer. I know that my business will one day get started. (Hopefully sooner than later.) But most of all, I know that my husband always has my back. My friends have my back. Everyone is healthy.

There is ALWAYS something to find the positive in. Sometimes we just need a little help finding it.

We are making it. We are surviving with the help we have been given. And I am currently crossing my fingers as the water heater installers work on my new and improved hot water heater! Haha!

Now. Go enjoy your own winter wonderland!

xoxo, Amanda