October 30, 2014

Celebrating Home - Continuing On

Well, here we are almost at the end of October! I can't even believe it, but November is all but here. I didn't write every day in October (which I expected would be the case), but I enjoyed writing within this framework a great deal. I've decided to make this a regular feature; probably once a month or so. I think this will allow me to continue this series indefinitely, which I will really enjoy!

I do want to get back to posting about what we've been up to. I can't believe how behind I still am but I'll just keeping plugging away! I'm ready to get caught up in time for the holidays. :)

I don't want to consider this a conclusion at all because "Home" will always be something I celebrate on this blog. Writing this series has brought to my mind more themes and concepts that I would like to think more about and focus on in my own home. I also need to share pictures of Evy's room! So there is lots more coming; it will just be interspersed with other posts.

I have loved concentrating on and celebrating all things "home!"

October 29, 2014

Celebrating Home - Scents and Sounds

When I think of what makes the biggest difference in our home (and really, my attitude and countenance), some of the first tangible things that come to mind are how my home smells and how it sounds. It's absolutely amazing to me that when I light a candle and/or turn on music I love, things just instantly feel better!

I have several scents going on at once ALL the time in our house! I'm always burning numerous candles and I've also gotten back into the habit of turning on my Scentsy warmer every morning. It's become a cute little routine for Evy and me to pick what scent we want to melt next. Right now we're warming "Christmas Cottage." Tis the season! :)

I have a couple of warmers, but my favorite is the Crown design (it's part of the Silhouette series)! Would you expect anything else from me?

I also LOVE CANDLES! There's something so soothing about lighting a candle and seeing it glow, not to mention the incredible smells!

I love Bath and Body Works candles. They have such rich scents that are really layered. I've already mentioned I love the Leaves scent, but really I'm drawn to anything seasonal. (Except pumpkin. I betray every girl everywhere by not being obsessed with pumpkin/pumpkin spice/pumpkin shampoo/pumpkin underwear but I've just NEVER liked it!)

I also absolutely LOVE the Votivo scent Red Currant!!! It is absolutely delicious. I believe I've discussed this before, but I associate this scent with the old (and new) beautiful Southern homes when we lived in Mississippi. Any time I was in one of the quintessential "Northeast Jackson" homes (surely some of you know what I'm talking about), this is what they smelled like. I could never put my finger on it until I smelled this candle by chance and said "THAT'S IT!!! That's the SMELL!" I just absolutely love it!

Another scent I'm consumed with is GAIN. Anything GAIN. Gain is to me what pumpkin is to every other girl. I started craving this scent (like in a creepy way) when I was pregnant with Lynley. This conveniently correlated with the partnering of Febreze with Gain. I cleared the aisles of these products and our house smelled like a washing machine for 9 months. I got the diffusers, the spray, the candles. It was really impressive. Now that Lynley is 17 months old, the obsession has tapered more into a strong love, so we still have some Gain products around here, but it's not at a concerning level. All that to say, I would love to meet the people who created the scent of Gain. I just want to hug them. (And for what it's worth, I don't make a dime from saying anything about ANY products on my blog - my state doesn't even allow for being an affiliate with Amazon, so I just like to share what I love!)

Along with my house smelling wonderful throughout the day, something that really brings me happiness is simply putting on music. I love Pandora, and I also play things on my phone when I'm upstairs with the kids. When Evy is working on a worksheet I'll put on something soft as background music. I always worked better with soft music in the background as a little girl (I was lucky to have an elementary teacher who would turn the radio on during seat work, but she favored oldies to classical - I never complained!), so I like to give that to Evy too. A few of my favorite sounds….

The whole Hymnworks series is great, but I especially love Hymnworks Christmas! Linda McKechnie blends classical works with hymns and Christmas songs, in this case. So beautiful!

Classical Naptime for Tots is such a good compilation album of familiar and beautiful classical works. And it's definitely not just for tots - I love it!

I love Pandora and love to listen to stations featuring these artists and songs. Just search for them and you'll be listening to what I love!

Andy Williams
Perry Como
Dean Martin
Frank Sinatra
"Polar Express" radio is a fun Christmas station
Henry Mancini
Sammy Davis Jr.
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
Alen Menken (Disney)
Greensleeves (Medieval-sounding Christmas)
Good King Wenceslas (traditional Christmas)

I love an old fashioned, classic sound filling my house. It's what I grew up with and what I love. I think sometimes we simply forget to just turn music on, and it makes such a difference! While you're cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, or just hanging out with your kids - having something non-chaotic in the background lifts everyone's mood.

What scents and sounds do you love in your house?

Click here for all of the posts in this series!

October 28, 2014

Celebrating Home - Our Kitchen

I have to apologize for the lack of posts recently! I've been very sick and thankfully I think the worst is over. It's that time of year, unfortunately! 

I wanted to share my kitchen with you today! It's still in process - we had the kitchen cabinets painted last month and the island/hood will be painted in November. I lived with it awhile to see if I liked a mix and I just prefer an light look overall. I'm excited to see how it looks when it's done!

I also took two sets of pictures - one in the evening with the lights on and one in the daytime with sunlight.

Since we don't have a breakfast area/table, we will use this bar counter a lot!

 Kurt's sweet mom made my window treatments for me! I absolutely love the gathered shade!

We replaced the light fixtures over the sink from a bright, electric blue pendant to these vintage/industrial ones. I love them!

I have special little "treasures" all over my house. This will be a post in itself, but almost every single thing I set out has sentimental or emotional value to me. Below is a Mr. Rogers card my siblings gave me (it's my favorite children's show, and I adored Mr. Rogers), and pictures of me with my grandfather and my dad.

On my windowsill, I have sweet little family pictures.

My friend Erin gave me the Queen figurine - she's solar-powered and waves all through the day! I also have a letter framed that my dad wrote me when I went off to college.

Don't mind Kurt's HUGE mug in the sink - it came from Plimoth Plantation and represents special memories (Kurt and I love Boston and the surrounding areas!).

In the corner are a little lamp, my Celebration Angel (there are interchangeable little things you can hang - like a star, Christmas tree, cupcake, etc.), a "Happy Harvest" decoration, and a family picture.

Displaying cookbooks is a wonderful way to show your personality. Or if you're missing an area of the country that's "home" to you, you can display a cookbook of recipes from that region. It's amazing what a little themed cookbook can do for your mood!

This rock sign was given to me by my aunt. It has the scripture "From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another." John 1:16. I put three crowns around this verse to represent our three beautiful and precious children - our incredible blessings from God.

You know I love blue and white!

I collect magnets everywhere we go - I bought the first one on our honeymoon! They're fun and happy and every time I look at them my mind goes to each place we have visited (a few are places that I have visited before we got married, but Kurt and I will go there soon!).

This is the desk area, which I never use as a desk. I do want to put an upholstered slipper chair here just to add some color, but I never sit here at all. :) I should, though! The little baskets were a "simple fix" that made a huge difference!

I have a candle, picture of my sweet little ones, an angel art piece that my friend Erin's sister made, and my grandparents' first Christmas card that they sent out in 1959 - yes, that little baby is my mom! :)

Every year I put together a photo calendar as gifts for family, and I always keep one too. It's fun to look back through the previous year every month!

I changed out the hardware on our cabinets when we had them painted. They were a leaf design, which wasn't really "me," and I found these for a steal on myknobs.com! They're an antique brass, English design (go figure!).

My Beauty and the Beast salt and pepper shakers - if you can't tell by now, I think the kitchen is a great place to express your personality!

And now for some daylight pictures!

Still waiting on my slipcover to come in for the sofa!

I have never regretted moving out of town for one second!

To Do:

-Island and Hood painted
-Replace microwave and fridge (when they wear out)
-Upholstered chair for desk area


Happy Harvest sign - Hobby Lobby
Happily Ever After towel - gift
Crowns - Hobby Lobby
Cookbook Stand - Southern Living at Home
Frames - Hobby Lobby, Bloom (local gift shop), and crown frames from a gift shop in Southlake, TX
Cabinet Paint Color - "Mocha Icing" from Kensington and Clark with brown detailing
Wall Color - "Lenox Tan" by Benjamin Moore
Barstools - Target online

Click here to see all of the posts in this series!
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