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I’ve learned a secret about goal-setting. I’ve learned that goal setting is not just about developing a list of systematic, time-driven accomplishments. Goal setting is not about pride, striving, or playing the comparison game. Goal setting is about personal growth.  It is the acknowledgement that we possess something of value – something worth offering this world – and that we are no longer content with being a lesser version of the person we were designed to be. Goal-setting is less about the accomplishment of goals and more about the internal transformation that occurs in the process. Take this faux brick backsplash, for instance. I set a goal in July to find a temporary solution for our kitchen backsplash that would : replace the southwestern-inspired travertine (beautiful but not our style) serve us well for a year or so until we tackled a more intensive remodel, and not involve Fireman’s assistance…

If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories (ha! ~ can you believe I jumped on that train?) you know I’ve been tackling big things in our kitchen these last couple weeks.  Big things as in attempting projects I’ve considered tackling for years but lacked the courage and the conviction to jump in and make happen. No more. Today I’ll share with you how I shiplapped our kitchen island, but a little background first. When we bought this house, the seller warned us, “This is a one-butt kitchen.”  Besides the fact I’ve never liked the B-word, it didn’t take us long to realize how right she was.  Our kitchen is pretty tight, particularly considering the house is a spacious 4000 sf. We’ve discussed remodeling the kitchen to change the island configuration, increase the work space between the cabinets and island, and to reconfigure the area more effectively for our family.  But…

Hand-painted signs have become a staple around here so I thought I would show you one of the methods I use to transfer fonts and designs onto wood, canvas, fabric, or whatever object you desire. Here are the supplies you will need for the projector method of sign-painting: Design or words of choice Microsoft Word Transparency sheets Overhead projector (yes, these are still around!) Pencil Paint and paintbrush First, decide on the design or words you want to use and download the image or type the words in Microsoft Word.  I’ve used poems, Scripture verses, popular sayings, and single words.  A wonderful resource for images and fonts is The Graphics Fairy.  This site is loaded with thousands of free vintage images and ephemera, but I’ll warn you ahead of time: Stay focused when you visit her or you may never come back! I found the following image on The Graphics…

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen glimpses of our newly wallpapered powder room. My goal last week was to finish styling this space so I could transition to other projects in good conscience. On any given day, my mind entertains a myriad of creative ideas and beckons me to numerous endeavors; it takes strength and discipline to finish one thing before moving on.  However, I am seeing progress in this area.  Every now and then I take my own chin in my hands and rotate my face back to the original project, not unlike my daughter used to when she longed for my full attention. First off, squeal!  This wallpaper is much more fun than I anticipated and has completely transformed our powder room.  For those of you still uncertain about embracing wallpaper (“Isn’t wallpaper outdated?” you ask.  Absolutely not.), I recommend testing wallpaper love in a…

After typing this post title, I googled the definition of “hack” and found everything from “an untalented professional” to “a cough” to “an unlicensed taxicab driver.”  And of course the more obvious: “A rough cut or blow.”  Finally, after scrolling way, way down (that’s for you Shelli :)) I found what I was looking for: “To change colour by painting or to make it do something other than its intended purpose. Normally with home decorations to suit your decor. Or to make things more useful.” So that’s what this happy post is about.  I hacked some bookshelves.  If you’re new here, you may not know hacking furniture is a thing with me. This particular hack involved a pair of cheap bookshelves, gray paint, peel-n-stick wallpaper, 1/4″ plywood backing, and a few nails. And a Fireman because he’s brave, kinda cute, and very handy. Haven’t we all, at one point or…

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a home design blog is to click on the Home Tour page and gaze at all the marvelous photos of other people’s homes.  You, too?  This is not a new obsession: Even pre-children, Fireman and I used to frequent local Parade of Home tours for the sheer joy and pleasure of walking through newly constructed, beautiful homes.  What I love most about Home Tours is that they reflect the styles, personalities, and stories of the families within.  Tours are a personal, private glimpse into other homeowners’ lives, and although we find much to admire in other homes, we often realize that in many ways, we all deal with the same dilemmas in our homes.  Things like mudroom chaos, inefficient closet organization, pantry storage issues, and paint color mishaps.  In the end, although a Tour can be gorgeous and photos stunning,…

Okay, who needs a little home improvement project to stimulate your Tuesday?  I spent a few blissful hours DIYing around my home this weekend and the solitude ~ along with the accomplishment ~ was good for my soul.  In the not-so-recent past, I often tried to “squeeze” decorating or creative endeavors into my life….often feeling indulgent and even guilty for doing so… but over time I realized that creativity could no longer be an aside in my life.  Something within me, within my very design, longed to be expressed and released.  For me to suppress or dismiss that longing was to minimize its significance to my own well-being and purpose, and perhaps even to rob others of whatever small offering I had.  It truly was a turning point in my life. ( If this is a struggle you share as well, I highly recommend the book A Million Little Ways…

Some of you may not know I grew up running barefoot through cut corn rows, galloping my pony through shaded trails with only fragments of faded twine for reins, shampooing my hair in a crystal-clear lake on summer Saturdays, and playing tag on combines and seeders and John Deere tractors during which if you touched the ground at any time, you were IT. I think back on those days sometimes, recall the damp and dark of summer nights, the heart-pounding thrill of Kick-the-Can, the lonesome, eery cry of loons.  If I think hard, I can almost smell the lake again, touch the pebbled back of a toad in my hand, burrow my toes into the cooling sand of nightfall. This week, I attempted to bring some of that beloved country-girl back in the form of a darling little chicken house for our family’s first-ever laying hens.  (And yes, we even…

One of the most daunting projects on my Sixteen Days of Getting my House in Order was painting the kitchen cabinets.  I finished this week-long project early to mid October, so we’ve been living with white cabinetry for six weeks now. My overall six-week-in evaluation?  I cannot believe the difference white cabinetry has made in this space. I thought I would share more details about my process in this post, and also give an update on how the paint is holding up in our busy family kitchen. First of all, there were a lot of beautiful things about the original kitchen, specifically the warm tones of the wood stain and the textured travertine backsplash. However, as we’ve worked to make this home more our style, the dark colors in the kitchen began to clash more and more with the brighter, whiter spaces we were developing in the remainder of the…