It is a Beautiful Friday:
Even Though My Internet Isn’t Working
& it Keeps Crashing My Posts

My internet is not working very well and it keeps shutting off mid-post (grrr….I almost threw my computer out the window but I regained my composure)  so this post is going to be brief…but I didn’t want to leave you postless on Beautiful Life Friday!

Please link up your posts and share in the comments about all the beautiful things you found this week!

I am leaving my middle daughter at college today. Sigh. I keep having flash backs to her little girl face and wondering how she grew up so fast!! I am so proud of her, she has been nothing but a joy to raise and I am so glad God allowed ME to be her mom! Ok, I better stop now before more tears fall on my keyboard. Two girls off at college now!

PS. I have the three winners of the $50 Lisa Leonard gift certificates!

Congratulations to Tara @ Feels Like Home!

Holly @ Homebody Holly

Kara @ Johnson Semya

Woo Hoo you are lucky girls!

Next week…winners of the HOMEGOODS SHOPPING SPREE will be announced! Woo hoo! Then the SHOPPING will begin!!

And I haven’t forgotten about our Procrastinator’s Party coming up in October, I’ve just been, well, procrastinating on talking about it.

So, start thinking of what project you want to do before the holidays…I’m going to be working on my project the first two weeks of October and I hope you’ll join me!! Mine just might involve a cabinet. That is all I am saying (in case I change my mind before then).

photo inspiration: previously unfinished furniture … hmmm…what could YOU do for the Procrastinator’s Party?
BH&G

Staying Encouraged in Tough Times


I have always looked forward to autumn. I love putting away the summer decor and bringing out the warm fluffy blankets and fall pillows. I daydream about cold evenings with my family nestled together by the fire. I picture a cozy life of comfort and void of stress. Yes, I know. I am a dreamer.

Contrary to my dreams, my real life involves a little more stress than I’d like. More than once over the past couple of years I’ve wanted to hide under my warm cozy sheets in the morning and not peek my head out at all. Not even to bake brownies.

Next month will mark two years since our life felt “comfortable.” In the fall of 2007, my husband found out his job was going to be outsourced. I remember the day he told me our world was going to change. I felt my heart sink to my knees and my stomach do flip flops.

I’m over at (in)courage today, so click here to read the rest of this story

photo inspiration: Country Living

Serenity Now: A Peaceful Home

If you have a busy schedule like I do this fall, you probably crave more peace, order and serenity in your home. As important as it is to make visual statements in your home (the ta da! moments we all seem to strive for) it is also very important to create places of calm to counteract the chaos of life. The more you have going on in your life, the more this will resonate with you.

Having a home that reflects serenity can truly give you a sense of peace. In today’s world, that is more important than ever.

I am really craving that serenity right now (yes, I even feel like chanting “serenity now, serenity now!”). So to kick off the busy week ahead in a positive direction, I’m thinking of ways to bring more calm to my life and to create a peaceful haven at home. Here are some suggestions:

1. CLEAR THE CLUTTER

The best way to create serenity is to clear the clutter and visual chaos. When your home is filled with stuff, be it clutter, piles of papers, dirty laundry, projects, or even too many accessories or an abundance of furnishings, your eye has no peaceful place to land. You want to allow breathing room for your own sanity!

Most of us could do with about half as much stuff in our house and things would feel a lot calmer. If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, grab some grocery bags and run around the house filling them with clutter. You can attack each bag later, and enjoy a calmer home right now.

2. ESTABLISH ROUTINES

If you struggle with disorder, or just general chaos in your life, routines can be the key to bringing calm to your life! Start with a morning routine, a cleaning routine, or a bedtime routine, and build from there. Once you have a few basic routines established, you’ll feel more in control of your life and the disorder of life will not feel as overwhelming.

3. SIMPLIFY YOUR DECOR

In your decor, you can do a number of things to create a more visually serene environment. Including getting rid of excess stuff, you can fill your home with soothing color palettes and and soft textures. It is amazing what a difference a color scheme and lots of cozy fabrics can make in how a room feels, so be sure to consider this if you are looking for a more peaceful environment.

4. CREATE A SPA BATHROOM

Some people find their bathrooms are a calm destination during the storms of life. While most of us can’t justify a regular trip to a spa, we can “get the feeling” of one in our home. Creating a spa-like environment to shower, bathe, or pamper yourself as you get ready each day or evening can make a real difference in your attitude!

I love having a luxurious faucet, a big bowl of fragrant soaps, jars filled with bath salts, and fluffy towels ready for after a bubble bath.

5. PRACTICE DAILY SOLITUDE

Give yourself permission to enjoy peace & quiet every day! If you take care of yourself you will be better equipped to face the day’s challenges. I’ve had a couple of times in my life where I let myself get so busy, I got stressed out and didn’t take care of myself emotionally, spiritually or physically. Having time to rejuvenate yourself is part of setting a healthy tone for your home.

Create a small corner where you can think (preferably in a locked room if you have children!). Put in a comfy chair, soft lighting, a candle, and have your favorite books or magazines at the ready for some quiet time. Spend a little time every morning in solitude and you’ll be much more equipped to face the day. In fact, just seeing your quiet corner can lower your stress level during the day!

The outside world can be a stressful place, but with a little attention to our home and how we live in it, we really can find that sanctuary we all need at the end of the day!

photo inspiration: House Beautiful

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