What’s Saving My Life Right Now

Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy hosts a party every year with what’s saving your life right now. I love the idea and thought I would jot down a few things that came to mind. I would say this has been a relatively mild winter so far, and I’ve really been focusing on what I like about winter this year. That has really helped me to not feel those pesky winter doldrums. Of course, not living through an East Coast winter is always a huge help too! Denver gets lots of breaks from the freezing cold, and the snow melts off, and it’s a nice rhythm of cozy snowy days at home and warm days in the sunshine.

That said, it’s been a really challenging couple of months with a ton of things going on and lots of overtime at work, etc. So these are the things that are saving my life right now – not necessarily because of winter, but just because life is very full right now.

  • Date Nights: We scaled these back to twice a month (instead of weekly) because they were starting to feel like yet another thing on our schedule instead of something we looked forward to. This seems to be the right balance, and we love them. We don’t usually do anything fancy, just dinner and lots of uninterrupted conversation, but it’s a breath of fresh air every two weeks.
  • Twinkle Lights and candles: I’m extremely sensitive to smells this pregnancy, so I’m only burning my tried and true vanilla scented candles. I also bought some solar powered twinkle lights for the trees in the front and the back, and I love them. These ones are especially pretty. I have a few battery operated ones inside the house that I love burying inside plants for a cozy nighttime glow.
  • Vanilla Almond Tea from the Republic of Tea. This tea has such a lovely, rich taste, and feels so extravagant. I still drink mostly almond milk, which only enhances the flavors in this tea… perfection. I save it for a special treat every few days.
  • Life Group: Our life group is like our family, and I look forward to any time we get to spend with them. My girls and I rally around and support each other as much as possible; watching each other’s kids so we all get a break, sharing challenges and difficulties that we can be praying about, and just doing life together. I love them.
  • Kinesiology Tape: I just discovered this and its a lifesaver for those aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Have you ever looked at a diagram of what pregnancy does to your spine? It’s downright unnatural. I use the tape about once a week in strategic places, and leave it on for at least a day, sometimes two. Here’s a great article about the benefits and the proper application.
  • Quiet Time: Finding time alone with God lately has been tricky. I’m too tired in the mornings to wake up early, and my three musketeers are on hyperdrive throughout the day. So I’ve started a new experiment, late morning after we do our normal morning routine, I put a show on for them, give Declan a bottle and sit them all on the couch. Then I sit in the next room with my earphones in (but I can still see them all) and listen to some scripture on audio and then write in my prayer journal. I’m not able to do this every day, but when I do, it’s fantastic.
  • Hygge: The Danish concept of comfort and coziness during winter is something that I discovered a few years ago. I’m really embracing it this year which looks like; candles, twinkle lights, cozy socks, hot tea, having friends over for dinner, LOTS of baking, homemade bread and all the comfort meals of winter like chili, robust soups and my favorite banana bread recipe. And naps whenever possible.
  • Artistry Essentials Hydrating Cleanser My mom sells Amway products and she brought me the cleanser and toner for Christmas. They are doing AMAZING things for my skin. It’s super light and non-drying, but still effective enough to clear out my pores and make everything feel fresh. It’s not cheap, but I think it’s worth it.
  • Sabbath: A little while ago I instituted a Sabbath in my schedule. From sundown Saturday night through sundown on Sunday, the goal is rest and refreshment. I don’t work on any projects, or any housework besides keeping the kitchen under control. It makes a big difference in my week, giving me a little time to recharge and focus simply on my family.
  • Plants: Fresh flowers frustrate me right now, as I’m busy with other stuff and I feel like I don’t get to enjoy them before they die. I even asked Lover to stop buying them for me. But I just picked up a few new live plants for our bedroom and main living areas, and I am loving the fresh happy green that they bring indoors.

So that’s it! That’s my list of what’s saving my life right now. Mostly little, inexpensive things, but just enough of a pick me up to get through a difficult season.

What’s saving YOUR life right now? 

 

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Keilana Kids Around Vol. 2

Mama, I swallowed my gum ‘cuz my leg hurts. 

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While Lover is tickling me, “mama, say no thank you!” I did! “Say it youder!”

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Mama, you’re my best fwiend.

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Blowing on the window: “see my hah?”

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Daddy: Oh, you scraped your leg up real good didn’t you?

KK: No! I scraped it real bad!”

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Mama, can you take the turny round thing out of the apple?

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(holding a hanger) Look at my hooker!

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putting her hands up to her face like binoculars “See my lookers?”

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KK: Mommy, I chopped the drawer thing off!

Me: Oh no, how will we open the drawer now?

KK: With a screwdriver!

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New Nightstands and Lamps…

Last time I posted about the master bedroom was a couple of months ago, and since then I’ve been doing a little bit of shopping, a whole lot of planning and a bit of talking all of it over with Lover. I feel like I have a solid direction, and it’s all starting to come together.

Initially, I was going to basically start from scratch. I was sure that pretty much the only thing I liked in the room was the bed frame and mattress, and I was starting over with everything else. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to identify what was working and what wasn’t, otherwise I would just be in the same position a year from now – new stuff but same old problems.

I have a Pinterest board for this house,  https://www.pinterest.com/jennywendhurst/amherst/  and I’ve been slowly pinning a few different images that really jump out at me with the feel that I am going for in our room. I spent some time a couple of weeks ago trying to narrow down what exactly the repeating elements are in the rooms I am drawn to, and this is what I came up with.

  • TEXTURE: I really, really, really LOVE texture. It’s the reason I am drawn to wicker and baskets and fur and leather and crocheted things. You know how mid-century modern furniture is all smooth lines and straight glossy finishes? SO not me.
  • SHEER: I love the way that light is diffused through sheer things like lace, translucent glass, decorative screens, etc. It makes the light so soft and etheral… it’s my favorite.
  • MOMENTS: In the decorating world these are called “vignettes”, basically they are little corners or spots in your room where all the elements come together to make a beautiful picture.
  • WOOD, especially CARVED WOOD: I love the warmth and life that stained wood brings to a room, and if it’s carved then I can just die right there happy forever.
  • INTERESTING LIGHTING: I feel like lighting is like jewelry, it can take a calm and simple room and make it something really fun and original. I’m always on the lookout for a light that stands out a little bit and announces itself.
  • METALLICS: otherwise known as ooh, shiny! Anything that has sparkle, shine or glitter instantly becomes attractive to me. Too much makes a room feel like Vegas, but the right amount brings life and light into the room.
  • MOROCCAN: I don’t know how long I will like this style, but currently I am loving all of the intricacies and pattern of Moroccan decor. Their punched metal lanterns (interesting lighting! sheer! texture!) make me want to fill the ceiling with an enormous collection of lanterns!! Please tell me this is a good idea!
  • PLANTS: Something I did not realize is that just about every image I save has some kind of plant life in it. Plants make the room come alive and make it feel dynamic. I’m not the best at keeping plants alive, but winter always gives me the desire to try again, so I’m on the lookout for some low maintenance plants for our room.

 

 

 

I spent some serious time this week cleaning out our room and moving a few things around. I feel like I have found a really good starting point. In this picture you can see that I spruced up those nightstands I mentioned in the last post, and also found these lantern/lamp/jewels to dress up said nightstands. I found them at Hobby Lobby for $70 for the pair. They are a mercury glass on the inside and a dark metal on the outside, with a moroccan pattern in the metal. (Metallic! Diffused light! Moroccan!)

 

After thinking on it for a while, I think what this wall really needs is something to draw the eye up. The nightstands are a much better proportion to the bed now, and they allow the bed to have some breathing room on this wall, which I really like. But now everything is the same height, which makes it all fall a little flat. So I played around in Photoshop for a bit and came up with a couple of options.

I feel like the headboard needs to have some kind of curve, to break up all of the straight lines on this wall. I also want some kind of soft, upholstered headboard, since so often I come in here to read, or I’m up in the middle of the night nursing a baby or what have you, and I want to be comfy! I’ve seen so many fun and interesting headboard ideas, but ultimately I want this room to be comfy and cozy, so upholstered it is.

I like this idea, but I feel like it still falls a little flat. Just too simple and yet another horizontal row with the headboard breaking things up a little. It still doesn’t draw your eye up too much. So then I tried this.

I like this a lot more. The headboard is a little taller and a little bit more interesting, and I like the contrast of a dark fabric. And the big vertical frame gives the whole wall some height and draws the eye up. I have so many pictures I have taken over the years, so one of them converted into black and white and in a nice frame will look great, methinks. I played around in Photoshop with adding something above the nightstands too, kind of halfway up the frame height wise, but I’m unsure about that. I’ll have to play around with it some more. Maybe some cool wall planters with some trailing plants? Some felt wall flowers?

 

 

 

I swapped the dresser so that it’s on the wall opposite the bed, and tucked the chair in the corner. I like the furniture arrangement a lot better, it just all needs some tweaking. I may still paint the dresser, or get a new cushion for the chair, or get a different chair entirely. I’ll just keep fussing with it little by little until it comes together. I definitely want to order a frame for our painting, to give it a little more presence on that wall. And I’m still deciding on new paint colors in here, I figure I’ll get a headboard and get the rest of the furniture right and then decide on paint colors.

I had pretty much made up my mind to get new curtains in here, but decided on a whim to add these sheer ones I bought a while ago (I think for our balcony in the apartment we got when we moved here?) and just see how they looked. I really like them. They’re light and airy and diffuse the light nicely, but they don’t get in the way at night when I want total darkness.

So that’s where things stand in our master. We didn’t end up getting the shower fixed in our ensuite due to some other issues that came up, but we did get around to refinishing the vanity and installing a new sinktop and faucet that I LOVE. I need to touch up the drywall and install the backsplash and then I will show you. It’s SO PRETTY! And the marble has sparkles. So now you KNOW that I love it. Sorry about all the caps. :) Til next time!

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