Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: The $50 Home Makeover, by Shaunna West

So I've been piddling around with some paint, which is unlike me.

I'm not normally good at DIY. I guess I can do okay with things, I just lack confidence. And I worry about messing things up.

Enter this lovely book.

Shaunna West has a bunch of fun projects that you can do without breaking the bank, and they are the kinds of things you would be willing to do. Things that would be useful in decorating in almost any style.

So I highly recommend this book for those fearful DIY'ers who are reluctant to try anything new for fear of messing it up. It is worth it!

Here are some things I've worked on lately:

This heart dish was a pale pink, almost white, before I painted it.

 This plastic mirror came from Walmart, and it was all black. My children called it the haunted house mirror, so I hated it. But then I lightly sprayed it with Colonial red paint, and now I love it!

I forgot to take a picture of  this before I painted it, so I took a picture of the back. It's a lovely frame, but it was a blah gray. Now it is pretty! (Can you tell I like the color red?)

 This is my living room coffee table. It is supposed to be wood, but we found out it is fake wood (grrr). So my husband said I could paint it.

I did that before reading Shaunna's book, and I don't like it. Since reading her book, I've learned that bold colors work best on furniture with sharp, clean lines. Pieces like mine are best painted muted colors, such as grays and creams. So yes, I'm going to repaint it.

I found this stool at Goodwill for $10. My husband fixed the top and shored it up for me so it wouldn't wobble anymore. I painted it cream, and I'm having a fellow homeschool mom reupholster the top for me in a pretty red (go figure) print. (Whenever I get around to taking it to her.)

I didn't realize it until after I put it in place that the legs of the stool match the legs of my writing desk. Happy coincidence!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Fill

Here we go again, doing the 5-minute, unfettered, free-writing. And this week we have a new host! Click on the button above to learn more. And then won't you join us?

The prompt is: FILL


There is nothing in this world that can fill me up.
No matter how hard I try, I can't get enough.

When I long, grasp and crave, it just wears me out,
And the frustration inside makes me want to shout.

But there is One I know, The One who pentrates
The deep void inside that makes me ache.

 Each time I go without making Him first,
Of all decisions, that is the worst.

Why do I look everywhere but to Him?
He is the One who can satifsy all my whims.

Because all I need is to stay in His will
And drink from His cup until I have my fill.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Begin {link up}


Today is Friday, the day of free-writing, where we write freely and free from criticism. Only encouragement welcome today!

It is also the last day that Lisa-Jo is hosting this writing flash mob, so make history and join us!

Today's prompt is: BEGIN


How many times have I told myself, "Tomorrow, I will begin again" ?

But then, tomorrow comes and I don't start.

It isn't that I don't want things to happen, to change, to accomplish what I long to do. I just don't do it.

Well, I guess that isn't the whole truth.  Confession:  I lack focus and goals. I'm easily distracted and not highly motivated. I'm a sloppy perfectionist who procrastinates so I can make excuses for things not being done well (if they are done at all). I know better, and this is sinful behavior.

I picked up (yet another) journal in the store yesterday. I bought it not because it is pretty (it is), or because it has that wonderfully soft, antique-yellow lined paper (it does). I bought it because it says this:

"She believed she could so she did."

This felt like a wake-up call to me. A moment where what I knew was true (I am my own worst enemy) slapped me in the face. I was forced, in the middle of Walmart, to acknowledge that I don't believe good things about myself. I expect to fail. Or to at least struggle. At a minimum, to do a poor job.

Without analyzing where all this self-talk comes from, I know that God wants me to stop it.

He wants me to surrender my day to Him. To begin anew. To begin right now.


"The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness," 
(Lamentations 3:22-23, NASB).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: The Nesting Place, by Myquillyn Smith

"It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful"

Have you ever been to a house that made you uncomfortable? Everything so clean and neat and well-decorated that you felt like you couldn't relax?

Or maybe you've been at someone's home and it was so comfortable and cozy that you hated your own house when you got back to it?

I've felt both ways. And, like Myquillyn Smith, I've also wondered if I've ever caused anyone else to feel like that in my home.

This wonderful book, complete with highly readable prose and beautiful pictures, as well as how-to tips and tricks to decorate well without breaking the bank, is well worth owning.

And actually reading.

I don't usually read books like this. I just look at the pictures, lusting after and longing for what I don't have, or comparing my house to the ones pictured in the book. And I'm left wanting and ungrateful.

But not with this book! The author draws you in and you can't help but read what she's written. She's witty, and funny, and she's lived in many different abodes (some rented and some owned), so knows of what she writes.

If you struggle with comparison, or if you long to do something with your home that you live in now instead of just wishing for tomorrow when things will be "better," then do yourself a favor and drink in the wisdom Myquillyn Smith has to offer.

You'll be glad you did.

Five MInute Friday: Finish

Today is that writing day where we get to write for five minutes without worrying about critics—internal or otherwise.

It's fun! Won't you join us?

Today's prompt is:  FINISH