Ever since I was a young girl growing up in the florist shop that my mom and sister Lisa used to own (From the Heart), I have had an inclination for the pretty things in life. I used to love walking around the shop and florist, running my hands reverently over all the things that filled up the shelves.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and I still feel that way.
I don't love spending money on things like this, though. I am given a lot of the things in my house, usually from my mom, because for the last few years, she has worked in designing dried floral arrangements in the cutest little decorator shops. I thought I'd give you an example of some things from my kitchen that I love.
I love pretty little containers that are also practical. This green cream and sugar set are some that my mom gave me a few years ago.
One thing I also love is to incorporate scripture into all the areas of my house. A sweet friend had this verse printed out on card stock laying around her office, and she gave it to me. I had it forever before I finally found a frame to stick it in. I love it, and it's from Psalm 56:3, in case you can't tell.
Excuse the dishes in the sink, but that's exactly what that side of the sink always looks like. Keeping it real. A friend gave me the pewter cross thing (I cannot think of a word to call that) years ago, and I love what it says. "Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible."
My mom gave me the potted flower and I am pretty sure that the green pottery it is sitting in once held a Swan Creek candle. (If you've never had a Swan Creek candle, you are missing out. My first one was a gift five years ago, and it smells like COFFEE.)
The tiger is something Drew bought me from the zoo when he was five or six years old, and it has lived on the side of my sink ever since.
Because sentimental things, and because I am sucker for sentiment.
Most of the things I have are things given to me as gifts, and I love that there are stories behind them. This Colorado towel is one my sister Debi bought me last year in September, when I was there for my niece's wedding. I keep it hanging there all the time to remind me of her and my sister Lisa, that also lives there. I actually use it, so this, too, is considered to be practical.
The tea kettle you see stays out all the time, because we literally use it every day. We go through sweet tea by the gallons (seriously) and when Todd and I got married, that's how I started making it. My mom always uses a sauce pan, but I don't know why I started using a kettle. Maybe because I liked the way they look.
I have to have things placed where I use them often, and though those aren't always considered pretty, I need a good mix. Hence the butter dish and the spoon rest you see sitting on either side of the stove.
The cross you see is one that Graham and Drew brought me back from Guatemala. You know I have a love for crosses, right?
Remember this wall? This began as a very small collection and has grown to epic proportions. These were all gifts, with the exception of one that I made when I was at a ladies night out with my mom-in-love one night.
Anyway, above the cross is Andy the Wonder Dog's tag with his name on it. (Tears.) And the adorable owl was on a gift as a tag, and I loved it so much that I hung it.
My favorite cook books sits out all the time. I use this thing so often, y'all, that if you don't own it, you should look into buying a copy for yourself. All the meals are five or six ingredients or less, and take about half an hour to make.
Also? I love that Bible verse you see hanging to the right of my cook book stand.
If I am at home, I am usually burning a candle. I love them, I love the way they smell, and I love how homey they make my house feel. This one was a Christmas gift that I picked out for myself from my family, and I burned every bit of it just last week. I'm on the lookout for a replacement.
I mentioned those Swan Creek candles earlier...I just added one to my Amazon cart. They smell like HEAVEN.
One last picture and I'm done.
I know it's not in style to have things on the fridge, but I got this idea from a friend last year and I copied her. I hung all our Christmas cards that we got on the side of the fridge so I can remember to pray for the ones hanging there. I love this so much that I just left them there all year. On the front, I keep things with important dates or things that mean something, like the cross you see. It was given to one of my kids by some of the kids from our Navajo trip. They all signed their names.
I don't spend money on things like this, I save things, or I get things people no longer want for themselves, and I am always moving things around and re-purposing them. I love things to make my house cozy, things like candles, lamps, books, and blankets. I keep my lamps on all the time, never the overhead lights. I love to keep the light above the kitchen sink turned on and every night I turn on my front porch light.
I love cozy. Todd finally gave up on trying to turn things off that I purposely leave on.
There are little things I do that make a difference. I always keep things tidy. I always make the beds. I have pillows to lounge against and keep them fluffed. I have tons of pictures all over my house, never the expensive fancy ones, either, only snapshots of our real life. I hang some things others might never consider hanging, things like canvases that my kids paint for me. One of my favorite things in my living room is a little winter bird that I got at a party last year where I played dirty Santa. My friend Andrea picked it out, and I LOVE IT. It reminds me of her. If I don't have out items that were given to me by a certain friend, know that a picture of the two of us can be found somewhere.
I also clean a little everyday so that nothing in my house ever overwhelms me, and I've trained my boys to do the same. They (mostly) make their beds everyday, and they keep their rooms pretty tidy. Also, ever since they were little, we have always worked together. Many hands make light the work, I have always told them, and that rings true even today, when all of them are teenagers.
Something that helps me to be able to do this is the fact that I homeschool. While the boys do their school work, I stay busy downstairs. I don't turn the television on at all in the day time (except maybe during the Olympics), and I refuse to sit on my phone or the computer, because I tell them they can't do that either, so I clean or organize things. I also cook a lot during our school year, because they love hot lunches, and because who doesn't love a great Crock Pot meal when it's cold outside?
I love reminders of my family and of my friends. I am thankful to God for all He has given us. That is, hopefully, reflected in our home. Also, I never want my house to be so fancy and pretty that someone can't just come by and take off their shoes and grab a blanket to cover up with. I always want our door to be open and I love when people stop by. Even when it's an entire house chock full of teenagers. In my world that saying "the more, the merrier" really is heartfelt. A full house equals a happy heart if you're like me.
So, if you're near me, feel free to stop by any old time. Only, don't judge me if I'm at home in my pajama's, because I also have this thing that if I am at home for even a little while, I love to be in something loose and comfy.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing my home with you.
Thanks for reading. Love to all.