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Help Wanted

I’ve been having a hard time finishing a blog post recently.  I’ve got several drafts started but I can’t find the energy to finish…or the concentration but that’s thanks to a lack of sleep and never a dull moment ‘round here.  :)  As I sat down, once again, at the end of last week to pound out a post, it hit me why I’m having a hard time.  There’s so much going on in the world these days.  I mean, there always is but recently the weight of it all has come down on me - friends who have sick children, a friend (wife and mom to four) from college passed away a couple of weeks ago, the refugees and their war-torn countries, bombings, the list goes on and on.  It’s hard to watch the news. 

All of my drafts are about superficial stuff, you know, the stuff I love to write about – a DIY tutorial, a thrift store trip, the new pair of jeans I just got – and it’s all fine and dandy to write about those things but they can wait.  I can’t just sit down and write about paint while I’m acknowledging the suffering that is going on in the world past my doorstep.  So, this Holy Week I’m going to skip the shallows for some deeper water.

It’s hard to make myself aware of the turmoil around me but it’s necessary.  As a stay-at-home mom of small children, I don’t have the ability currently to just pick up and volunteer whether it be at a local or international level.  But, I can empathize and I can pray and I can give money.  So, I’ve asked a few trustworthy friends to recommend some legit sites (I know that in a society where scams seem to run rampant, it’s easy to be skeptical) where we can do just that.  I hope you’ll join me.  :)  If praying is all you can do, this is a great week to dive in.  If you’ve got some cash you can part with, part with it with your right hand while your left is praying.  Learn about these causes not because they’ll make you want to go cry in your pillow but because we are the Body of Christ.  Our brothers and sisters are suffering and they need us to think about them, to acknowledge them, to pray for them.  And I know I can take that knowledge and turn it around on myself – stop taking what I have forgranted, start living more fully, start cherishing all of the blessings I’ve been given.  It’s easy to forget how good we’ve got it sometimes.  :) 

I hope you all have a powerful Holy Week.

(I’m going to be updating this list as time allows and I’d love to you to add more causes close to your heart in the comments section!)

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Help support the Garcia’s  I went to college with Katie and was lucky to travel with her in Europe while doing a semester abroad.  She was just amazing.  The best thing I can say about her is that she’s the kind of woman you want your daughters to grow up to be like.  Her husband and four small children are here on Earth missing her along with a whole slew of friends.  Also, check out Katie and David’s blog, especially this post.  
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Preemptive Love Coalition – a non-profit that brings relief to families on the frontlines of war in Syria and Iraq and empowers refugees to rebuild their lives.

Lifting Hands International – they collect and ship high-priority items to refugee camps.  They keep in touch with volunteers on the groung in those camps to figure out exactly what is needed (and what’s not needed since space is so limited in the camps).

Humanwire – donate, follow your donations progress, and see it delivered to a refugee!  So cool!

Ananias Mission – “We are responding to the Syrian refugee crisis by helping refugees as they go through the resettlement process. We are working to educate our communities to help them understand the crisis and to inspire compassionate action. We build direct networks between Americans and the Canadians who are sponsoring refugees, as well as personal contact with Syrian refugee families as they move to safe countries where they can live and worship freely.”

Kids Against Hunger – they work to get food to hungry children in the US and around the world.  You can donate or you can go hands-on and pack meals.

Carry the Future – they deliver donated diapers, baby beds, and baby carriers (along with much more) to refugees.

CNEWA – they help those in poverty by getting them basic supplies and healthcare among much, much else.  87.9% of every dollar donated goes to those in need.

Little Leo was diagnosed with a form of cancer and his family needs help paying medical bills.  Donate here and follow his journey here.

Christopher and Winter are raising money to build houses for those who need them in Haiti through Food for the Poor.  They’ve raised enough money to build three houses and their mom got to go to Haiti to meet the people living in those houses.  How awesome is that?!

Calais Action – a direct-giving and advocacy group geared towards refugees.

Jesuit Refugee Service – they help and advocate for refugees and forcibly displaced people (just reading those words “forcibly displaced” on their site breaks my heart…can you imagine?)

Light House Relief – an organization that provides help for refugees in Greece.

MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) – working to save lives on the sea along migrant routes.

Cheap Change

Let’s play ‘spot the difference’, shall we?  What’s changed from this picture:
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to this picture?
IMG_8676I mean, they’re not exactly a reflection of each other anymore.  One is the fairest (or fairer) one of all.  A mirror image they are not.  Ok.  I’ll stop.  You get it, you had it before I even started up with my ridiculousness. 

I painted the mirrors.  We ditched the dark, dusty rose for lighter and brighter white with a gold touch.  (And yes, in case you noticed this too, I spray painted the light fixtures quick-like.)

Here’s how:

Be A-Frayed

So, as you know, we’ve been slowly plugging away at the kids’ bathroom (see the mood board here).  It’s amazing how slowly really.  We actually made ourselves a deadline of last weekend to finish this baby but then we got thrown for a scary loop when we had to make an ER visit resulting in a hospital admittance for Seraphia that pretty much ate up our entire weekend…not to make it sound like it was an inconvenience because of course we’d rather coddle a sick child than work any day but also of course we’d rather have healthy children and do fun things like diy.

Praise be to God she’s ok and on the mend – she had some breathing issues and as it turns out, allergy-induced asthma maybe on top of a virus.  It was one of those scary moments in parenthood where you have no clue what’s happening to your baby girl and why she can’t breathe and your mind scans a thousand of the worst options.  Love makes your heart bubble up and over and it also makes of you a hyperventilating worrier, I suppose. 

But anyway, like I said, thank God we are past that and all is well here.  Let’s move onto greener, more superfical pastures, shall we? 

Like our kids’ bathroom:IMG_7717This is where we left off after hanging some colorful art and letter hooks on the wall to the right and out of the frame of the above shot.

Since then, we’ve ripped out that half-wall and those nice 80’s spindles, getting us to here:
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I know you appreciate my skillful styling courtesy of la tools.
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The wood mirror is an option we’re toying with since Anthony accidentally broke the existing mirror (bottom center has a big ‘ole crack).  It’s actually the mirror off one of our dressers, which you probably gathered, and would be a free replacement.  Our best friends, Dan and Lauren, used a dresser mirror in one of their bathrooms and it looked so cool so we’re just following their lead.  :)

Let’s talk about what’s gracing the floor - that blue and green-striped rug.  It’s a Target runner I paid $10 for at Dirt Cheap a few years back and I actually bought it because I intended to make it our entry rug until I found this one instead.

I got it because it has this striped pattern on one side:
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and is plain white on the other, making that side a perfect canvas for a paint job.  :)
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So this rug has been sitting under the vanity in the kids’ bathroom for forever now, waiting for me to paint it and place it under their toes.  Well, I still haven’t gotten around to painting it but I did add a little something by way of fringe to the edges and so down it went.
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It was pretty simple to do.  First, I figured out how big I wanted the rug to be (minus the fringe) and sewed a straight line across on both sides, where I wanted the rug to ‘end’.
IMG_3216  Yes, I sewed the rug.  I didn’t know if it would work or not at the first press of the foot pedal but it actually went pretty smoothly.  I used the black thread that was already residing on my machine and you can barely tell it’s there.  See?IMG_3217 

After I had my two lines sewn, I cut off the ends of the rug where I wanted the ends of the fringe to start…IMG_3218

…and then I just started pulling the rug apart.  I frayed it.  #hencethetitle
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The large threads came off in one piece and they were pretty darn cool.  I saved them.  :)
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So the fringe is pretty thin and wimpy as far as fringe goes but it’s still fringe and I kinda like it.IMG_8656(PS, behold the new tile floors!  They’re nothing special but they only cost us about $15 in tile so, huzzah!  Anthony laid them.  He’s kinda amazing.  <3)

Now I just need to figure out what to paint on the other side of that rug.
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At first, I was going to go for this design:565df8bb764e0de56cde185f5be1c8f6(rug via trouva.com)
But then I thought maybe I’d grab the stencil I used on our screened-in patio floor and do that all over again but in mustard yellow? 

And then I saw this West Elm rug on Fixer Upper and kinda loved it:
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Or maybe the same rug except mustard yellow instead of black?  I don’t know.  What do you think?  The shower curtain (shown all the way above) is black and white striped so I don’t want it to compete too much with that though I think a little healthy competition and pattern playing is good.  Decisions, decisions…

Either way, the bathroom is coming along.  From the first picture up at the top of this post, it would seem like we’re moving backwards as far as decor goes…
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But then you think back to where we started and it looks like we’ve made leaps and bounds, tool decor and all.
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This weekend we’re going to work on touching up the paint, putting baseboards back on, and the mirror.  We also want to either thrift or make a new light fixture and have plans to diy some concrete countertops.  Phew, we better get a move on.

Stay.

Tuned.

Per the usual.

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*Affiliate link included in post.

Spotted: Goodwill

On my way to pick up our groceries last Saturday (Walmart grocery pick-up*…life-changing…order online, they shop for you, and you just park while they load your car!), I did a quick run by the Goodwill that’s across the street from Walmart.  I walked out empty-handed but here are a few things that caught my eye:

These chairs:
IMG_3137I always make a beeline to the furniture section because #fomo is real and I just know that if I don’t, someone is going to beat me by seconds to that one thing.  Okay, so maybe that’s a smidge dramatic but 1) I really do suffer from #fomo and 2) the furniture section is the most exciting section imo.  Anyway, you probably already know that I have a love for all things bamboo so you can understand why I loved these.  My head went right to how amazing they’d look reupholstered with some Swaying Palms fabric (Deme, I know you’d agree wholeheartedly!)  The bamboo was in great condition but the foam, not so much.  I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to grab them but, in the end, I felt like the $24.99 per chair was a little high so I moved on over to…

this chair:
IMG_3138It was obviously someones guinea pig for a reupholstering project that I wouldn’t exactly call successful.  There was more puckering on that chair than on a millenial female’s insta feed but, the legs.  It’s always about the legs.  I did an awful job of documenting prices on this quick trip but I think it was $14.99?  Don’t quote me.  It obviously needed a fabric facelift but it had the potential to be a great accent chair!

I didn’t think much of this chair upon my first pass through the furniture arena but decided later that it would be so lovely painted a bright color.  Mint, fiery red, jade green, or even toned down to a distressed, creamy white.  Heart eyes.  :)
IMG_3139Also, I hate to admit it, but I’m not a farmhouse decor fan.  It’s just not my style.  I mean, I LOVE Chip and Joanna but I wouldn’t want them to fix up my house.  However, they must be rubbing off on me a tad because this chair definitely falls into that category.  :) 

This was an odd-shaped basket thing I thought might be cute in one corner of a kitchen countertop:IMG_3140Or really any little lonely corner.  In a bathroom it could be the corner basket to toss your straightener/curling iron or in an entry way it could hold keys atop a foyer table with one side against the wall and the other along a row of books.  The color was on pointe too.  It’d bring a natural element to a space.

This planter was gorgeous as is:
IMG_3141Had I a plant in need of a home, it would’ve come with me.

This planter was cute too.
IMG_3142I wasn’t a huge fan of the colors but spray paint does a quick transformation make.  The scalloped edge up top is what reeled me in.  It might even make a great pendant light – upside-down with a hole drilled into the bottom for the light kit to fit?  Can you see it?

When you’re thrifting, it’s always helpful to look at pieces individually without gazing at them amidst their gawdy surrounding neighbors.  Such is the case for this tea pot/vase thing:
IMG_3143There were some pretty ugly things around it and, in fact, I glanced right over it at first but was drawn back to all the colors.  It was so, so pretty.  I pictured it on our kitchen countertop with the white subway tile backsplash letting it be the star.

And finally, had we more space on our kitchen countertops, I would’ve snatched up this spice rack: IMG_3144It was just downright cool…much cooler than the jumble of differing spice tins and jars we have going on in the bottom shelf of one our our cabinets…

I’m going to drop back into this Goodwill this weekend again, I think, to see if those bamboo beauties are still there and to see if they’ve been reduced.  What do you think?  Is $50 for both a steal or too steep?  I don’t know if we’d keep them or not…I might love them so much I’d sell two of our current bamboo chairs in turn.  Or, I’d could set them at the ends of our dining room table…ooh, there’s an idea!!  But then again, they might make a fun project and a great profit to be shoveled towards student loans…ugh.

Want to see more of what I’ve spotted in my thrifting adventures?  Click here. 

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*The Walmart grocery pick-up link is our referral link.  If you click and order groceries through us, we’ll get $10 off our next order and you will too (minimum of $50 order)!  Happy shopping…or not shopping…which is what I prefer when it comes to groceries.  ;)

Fiddle Leaf Figs: Week-by-Week

We mosied on over to the Florida Coast two weekends ago to visit my sister and her family – a seven hour drive.  It was such an awesome trip; it always is.  Besides corraling the eight kids under five that we have between us, it was pretty nice and relaxing.  We didn’t do much besides hang out at home with the exception of an hour spent at a local carnival one evening where the kids rode on three tot rides.  We paid a high $40 for a 30-second cruise on three joy rides…well, make that 30 seconds on two rides and about 15 on another.  Fifteen because they shut ‘er down early because Sebastian freaked.  Poor kid.  We put them all on this little Nemo knock-off that went ‘round and ‘round and he was all smiles and giddiness…until the operator pushed the start button.  Granted, we all were a tad surprised to see it zoom around and up and down in a small circle at much more than a leisurely swim.  I was videoing him before the ride started to get in all that excitement and you can see the phone drop once the ride started and he did a 360 in mood.  My sister though, videoed the entire ride so I grabbed a screenshot so we’d have something to laugh about after the fact…because during I really wanted to leap the fence with my helicopter mom hat on and snatch him outta there.
IMG_3090Far left.  Like I said, poor kid.  I’m hoping this is a phase because Anthony and I are both fans of thrill rides and I’d hate to not share that joy with this kid someday.  What’s it called when you cure a paranoia through direct experience of the fear?  You know, curing it by exposing the person to it along with something they don’t fear?  I think I’ll put him next to me on a roller coaster with a handful of cotton candy someday…  ;)   

Anyway, we’re back from the Sunny State and I brought back a couple of souvenirs with me courtesy of my selfless seesta - two clippings off of her enormous fiddle leaf fig.