Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Morning Randomness

Totally random post. I started this post days and days ago, but my mind is in jumbles. Proceed with caution. Or just laugh at me. Whatever.  ;)

Random Thing #1:
The mornings have been SO DARK recently. It makes it hard to get moving. I'm the type who thinks the day is nearly over by 10 am, and while I'm generally pretty productive, I find myself feeling slightly frazzled at 9:58 and I start rushing around to get done. Weird, I know.

Random Thing #2:
Gravity has shifted. This is my theory anyway, because I refuse to believe that I can no longer manage to paint the upper corners of the bathroom while balancing on the edge of the bathtub. Without difficulty, that is.

Random Thing #3:
Fall is here and it's amazingly beautiful, and it's all going by so very quickly. Which makes me sad. I want certain things to linger, but time keeps bulldozing past us as normal.

Random Thing #4:
I should not be allowed to buy peanut M&Ms. Friends, if you see me with a bag (or 8) in hand, I beg of you, please stop me. At all costs. Even if I tell you that they're just for trail mix. Because I'm lying, right to your face.

Random Thing #5:
These things I can stare down without devouring. But they look so cute on the kitchen counter in my fall tea cup!

Random Thing #6:
Being a Mom is hard work. So many fears and worries and doubts. But my God is bigger than all that, for which I'm forever grateful.

Random Thing #7:
I feel the need to warn anyone contemplating painting their heater a coordinating color - don't do it! Just...don't. Please & Thank you.

Random Thing #8:
I'm having a slight identity crisis. Between my little shop and this blog and what I really want to do (write books) and and and... this is laughable because I'm sure nobody really cares, but it totally stresses me out. Weird. Again. Noticing a trend?   =)

Random Thing #9:
I can't stop thinking about the fact that we've been out of our decade+ home for over a year now. One whole year. One whole year! I try and remind myself that it isn't that easy to complete the projects on the To-Do list in this house while, oh I don't know, having a life, taking care of four children, dealing with their schedules. Just the other day, I psyched myself up enough to drive past our old home. And you know? It was okay, it wasn't as painful as it was before. I'm thankful for that. It really helped me start considering this place our home now.

Random Thing #10:
I'm falling hopelessly in love with the baby girl things that I'm supposed to be selling. Her closet will definitely be more loaded with goodies than mine ever will be! Like, ever!!! (Isabelle's always has been. ;) I haven't shared any of her cute fall outfits...I'll try to do that next week.)

That's it for now...Have a wonderful Saturday! We had friends over last night for homemade pizza and a bonfire, and we get to do it again tonight! Well, not pizza again, ha!

ps- Here is something new at Rose & Ruffle- what do you think?
(Yes, this one's actually for sale.) 

You can also find me on facebook if you want. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Floor Powder Room Finished. Kinda. Mostly.

Maybe that title should read "First Floor Powder Room...Phase 1 aaaaand 3/4." I am about 99% sure of what I want above the loo, but then it's a matter of finding it, finding it at the right price, scouring through what we already have (if I can ever find that stuff somewhere in the basement or garage ever again) to make sure I haven't overlooked some hidden gem. I've got mouths to feed, people. And laundry. Oh the laundry. Not much time leftover these days.  :)


I should have posted this a little while ago, but I guess the busyness of summer kept it out of mind. Here were our humble beginnings. Buy-bye purple heater. And trim.

This cabinet may not look heavy, but it very nearly cost me my life. Okay, not really. But it was super heavy.

And it hid a myriad of lovely surprises. Holes in the wall. Big ones. (That one is a small one, just to clarify.)

And now, here she is. It's a very small space with no natural light, but it works, and I actually really like it, although it is rather tricky to photograph. The major changes in here were...well, the bathtub stayed put. Everything else got the axe. So, basically just some sweat, probably a tear or two, and a little dough. This bathroom re-do didn't break any banks, that's for sure, but that was kind of the point. We weren't looking to win any special loo awards, just update and freshen the space as easily and budget-friendly as we could.

While this under mount granite counter may seem like a splurge, it was actually cheaper than any options at Lowe's or HD (local store). I am not in love with granite as most folks these days are, but I will admit that this does make me smile. So pretty and classic looking!
I've included this photo of the granite still in the box because it shows its true colors...gorgeous!...and next to the dark wood, it picks up on the those darker tones. It is pretty cool.  =) 

And now with the lights off...
This was not the lighting fixture I had my little ole heart set on. We'd chosen a similar looking one, but with an oval centered mount. Then we planned to frame out the mirror. It was going to be fabulous. There was, however, a slight problem with our plan: unevenly spaced studs in that corner of the room, so no room for a junction box; plus, the holes in the wall sort of dictated where things needed to be placed because we were so over patching holes and drywall and painting by this point! All that to say, this fixture is a bar one, like those Hollywood globe lights. Once it was up (and I like it, so, phew!), though, we thought that framing the mirror would be a little toomuchofagoodthing going on on this tiny space. We can always lower the mirror and frame it later should we change our minds.

After priming and painting over the kind-of oak cabinets in the kitchen, I really missed not having any darker cabinetry. So the bathroom was the perfect space to go a little darker. I love the little cheery pop of the blue walls in contrast to the darker wood and fixtures and creamy whites. For a windowless space, it's quite bright and happy in here.

I already owned the shower curtain and liked the texture/color of it in here, but it barely reached the edge of the tub when I positioned the curtain rod higher up on the wall (which was a definite must to disguise the old, very beige bathtub). I had just finished working on some nightgowns for a customer so this print was fresh on my mind...and I had just enough to sew up a panel along the bottom. Problem solved.

Oh, hello there! ha ha
The wainscotting and trim look dingy in some of the photos, but they're a lovely creamy white color.

I liked the idea of hooks instead of a towel bar in here, and since primarily just two people shower regularly in here, we opted for two instead of three.

A close-up of the Noah's Ark wall hanging my mother made when the boys were babies. I'm thinking of finding a skinny stick or branch and using twine instead of this get-up here, but I just love this special piece. I didn't want it to be front and center, so to speak, but I like the whimsy it adds from peeking out behind the door.

So what now?
Not anymore! (Now you know why the first floor bath was on my mind....because I'm up to my elbows in this one!)
I think that's all...time to go pick up some kiddos!

sharing with:
Link Party Palooza 
Thrifty Decor Chick

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Building a Rock Garden on a Serious Slope (and Plants that Disguise Ugly Views)

Good Saturday morning to you! It's a rather quiet one here, as the two oldest boys are MIA (I jest- they're at sleep-overs), and it still surprises me to glance outside and see dots of red and orange and yellow scattered around our yard. Fall is coming, and while I LOVE fall, I'm not sure I'm quite ready for it yet! But the cooler weather is the perfect excuse inspiration to tackle one more outdoor project. This was actually a project that just jumped out at me one afternoon, about 48 hours ago to be precise.

I have no clue what led me to risk limb and life (not really) to build yet another rock garden, but...when you've got a bazillion and a half rocks in your yard still waiting to be used- ie, get rid of- after completing a *foundation rock garden and then **a massive 20+ foot rock wall/garden bed, aaaaaaaand a rather nasty-looking view of the deep bowels of a backyard deck, why not?

Since this was a last-minute, spur of the moment kind of decision, I didn't even think to snap a photo until I'd already completed the first part. Typical.  =)

Can you tell how steep the slope is? There are boulders along the left edge there, keeping the yard in place, but there is not enough distance between them and the actual deck to consider any plantings from the ground up. So, Plan B it is. Well, since I didn't really have a Plan A... Technicalities. Whatever.

For the record, while the deck itself is lovely in theory, that red makes me gag, maybe even throw up in my mouth a little bit. Sorry for that, but it's the truth. We will tackle that gem next year. But this new rock garden? Oh yeah, I'm all over that.

At first it was going to be just one little garden bed, adjacent to the railing on the far right, but then the thought of adding another one to follow along the edge of the deck appealed to me. Thus, Plan C. Right? ;)
I think having two softens the severity of the slope. Plus, mowing this area was awkward and difficult, so another problem gone gone gone.

Last month, we took out the old cracked and broken tiles and replaced them with crushed rock. Much better! The footing was unsteady, and there was lots of potential water & drainage issues looming.
This photo was taken on Isabelle's Daddy/Daughter Date Night.  =)

The ramp used to bother me, but now it seems like no big deal. It does make moving the grill and other heavier items so much easier! I've learned the hard way that without edging of some sort, that grass will creep up in the rocks (even with the landscape barrier stuff), so I'm thinking a grey brick either on its side or flat dug into the ground will look lovely. I just love how there's something pretty to look at now! This is standing at our back garage door.

Oh look, a pepper! I just had to include that! =)

I was at Lowe's for cheap-o soil to fill in the beds and they were having a 30% off sale for all plants and shrubs. Score! For under thirty dollars, I snatched up 1 Rose of Sharon shrub (8-10' tall, deciduous); 1 eunonymous (however you spell that) ground-cover plant (that will trail along those boulders on the sloping edge); 1 purple Butterfly Bush ( 6-8' tall, deciduous); 1 Globe Arborvitae (around 4' tall and wide, evergreen); 1 other (?) Arborvitae (around 6' feet tall, evergreen); 1 pot of Autumn Joy Sedum, and 1 pot of daisies. These should all grow nicely in this sunny spot and fill in as a beautiful, lush disguise to the barren underbelly of the deck. Yay! I think I'll add some daffodil bulbs, but for now I planted 2 mums as filler.

Free rocks  + discounted plants & shrubs + 24 hours start to finish = my kind of home improvement project!

Let's look at more pictures, shall we?
I can't believe that there was nothing here before, and now I can see beautiful plants from everywhere in the yard or deck, and from all the kitchen windows!

Here are some other landscaping/garden posts from the past few months:
foundation rock garden
massive rock wall

The sun is shining and we've got lots of places to go, so I'm off...have a great day!

Updated 2014
Then this happened...

...SO MUCH BETTER! I'll update with more photos of soon- it looks gorgeous now!

sharing with:
Alderberry Hill 
Link Party Palooza 
Thrifty Decor Chick 
Kelly's Korner

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nightgown & Dress Clearance Sale!

Thank you so much to all of you have thought about and prayed for our family's ongoing (and sometimes disheartening) adoption process, and thank you to those who have made purchases from my Etsy shop! We really so appreciate you all so very much!

So...all summer dresses and nightgowns are now ON SALE! Most remaining items are the very last ones, so once they're gone, you got it...they're gone. Thanks again! Happy Wednesday!

Here are a few things marked down right now:


Take a Look & Shop Rose & Ruffle  HERE 
You can find Rose & Ruffle on facebook HERE (I offer discount codes and other goodies!)
Thank you!  =)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mount Moosilauke & More Isabelle Funnyisms

What a fabulous weekend we had! Lots of friends, good food & fun! We were even able to take our first family hike since Caleb busted up his leg over Memorial Day weekend.
We're no experts for sure, but I think it's safe to say that we are a hiking family. Yesterday we tackled Mt Moosilauke...well, we attempted to tackle, but I have to admit it - it beat us. We were nearly three hours and 3,000 feet in, schlepping our way through squishy, slippery mud, scaling rocks and boulders (lots and LOTS of rocks), and it just got to be too much for poor Isabelle's little legs. I felt bad because I knew she couldn't really go any farther, and I knew how much the boys wanted to press on, so that kind of stunk. I thought about carrying her- or rather having Daddy carry her- but it just wouldn't have been safe, and frankly, we need another broken bone like we need a second mortgage.
Summit or not, we had a great day and marveled at all God has created for us to enjoy.
{We're still praying for all those in Colorado right now.}

This last shot was in the car, through the window, with me wrenching backwards and basically pointing the camera over my shoulder without looking. Not bad, right?  :)
Bill and I were SO impressed with Caleb on the mountain, so proud of him! Very thankful too, that he is regaining full use of his leg and ankle. We have another x-ray scheduled later this week to re-evaluate, which will determine whether or not he'll need surgery, but I don't really want to think about that possibility right now so I'll simply focus on what fun we had yesterday.
Did you notice the hair? I've washed it, oh, 7 times since Friday night. 21 more shampoos to go. I think it's not quite as Ronald McDonald, phew!
 Oh that girl of mine. She was so funny yesterday. Nothing but quotes will do for these!

When I expressed concern for Daddy carrying the heavy pack, Isabelle whips around and tilts her head, hand on hip, and advises me not to "worry myself about it because Daddy is strong and can handle it." Well then. HA

Later on, when she was beginning to struggle maneuvering the mud and rocks, I tried to distract her by announcing that I saw those little mini-trees, which means only one thing: fairies are nearby! Her response wasn't what I'd thought it would be- "Mom (in a somewhat stern, authoritative voice), I think you know that the Tooth Fairy is the only real fairy, and she is not here." Oh boy, did I giggle over that one!

The last cute thing was on the way back down, when she was really struggling with mud and rocks. I suggested she walk in a zig-zag fashion to help her keep her balance. That somehow perked her right up. So imagine my laughter when I hear this little cheerful chirp of a voice behind me, singing out but only to herself, "Ziiiiiig, ziiiiiig, ziiiiiiiiiiig, no, that's not a zag. Ziiiiiiiig, ziiiiiiiiiiiiig, um, no, still not ready for a zag. Ziiiig, ziiiiiig, ziiiiiiig, oh yes, that's a zag all right. Zaaaaaag."
Cutest.Thing.Ever.  =)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Our Family Room Fall-ified...and How We Share the Space for a Home Office/Sewing Nook

Nice title, right?
I was debating adding "...and Red Hair," but decided against it. Wish I'd decided against this color. In the spirit of fall, I was going for a rich, auburn hue and instead now resemble Ronald McDonald. Yikes! Maybe we can just pretend I'm red-haired Sydney Bristow (from Season 1), 'cuz I'm not gonna lie, that would be pretty cool.
We were sweating buckets this week with crazy-hot temps and I just couldn't bring myself to haul the fall decorations up from the basement until yesterday afternoon. Today is absolutely the best kind of fall day- big puffy white clouds scattered about that perfect robin's egg-blue sky and coolish breezes giving you the slightest bit of chill. I love it all! Truth be told, I still have yet to locate some of my things- probably because when we moved I had the stuff already out, so I put it where I was sure I'd find it later, and then promptly began setting up for Christmas. Yeah, now I have no idea where it is... but here's what I did find, all set up and looking pretty in our family room.

I had a favorite corner in our other home. (I just spent 9 minutes looking for a pic of it but to no avail...)This is becoming my favorite corner here.  =)

We have a medium sized black letter "P" to go on the top right side. Next to the one frame I neglected to paint ivory. Oops. Someday.

Here's what this room looked like a few months ago. In my defense, the all-house overhaul had taken its toll and I needed a break. Kind of a blank slate... I don't love the tan panels in here, but I do like how they look in terms of length. That little "fishers of men" lampshade got a teensy make-over this summer.
If you're a facebook fan (you can find me on facebook HERE) then you saw my picture of my sidekick/helper. This is one of the pillow covers I was working on. It's actual staff with words and notes and everything! I can't make it out clearly enough to figure out what song it is, but I will try when I'm really bored someday. The other new pillows are the floral prints on the couch. One caution about leather furniture- your pillows don't stay put! And the larger the pillow, well, forget about it! It will always be on the floor.

More help!  =)

A handmade treasure from Caleb's kindergarten days. :)

Now here's the other half of the room: our office and sewing space
Notice how I let go of my pride and didn't even tidy up first? 
We're going to put up two large white shelves above the sewing table - a place to hold all those trims and buttons and threads, etc. It's going to be wonderful!!!
I wrote about this space earlier in the year, and though it isn't perfect, I was able to reuse nearly everything from our previous home office, and those things I was lacking I stole from other rooms in the house. The two shelves and pink baskets were new, but the baskets were on clearance.

Oh, and that big stash of burp cloths and bibs? Those are for sale, and I've got quite a few so...please buy one. Pleeeease.

Here's one last photo of the layout of the two spaces. It's challenging for me to keep my sewing stuff under control, but since it's in plain view, it sort of forces me to. Most of the time.  =)

The next post I write about our home will be another kitchen one! That room sure has changed, AGAIN! Here is the first kitchen post, and a post about organizing on a budget. I'll share how we transformed this horrid looking stuff under the cabinets. Happy Saturday!

Sharing with:
Sew Can Do
Alderberry Hill 
DIY by Design
Liz Marie Blog 
Link Party Palooza 
Thrifty Decor Chick 
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