A bedside table swap (aka: a sneak peek at Della’s room)

I won’t even mention how long ago it was that I showed you the inspiration for Della’s big girl  room, but just know it’s been a while. And the thing is, it’s mostly done. And it’s been mostly done for a while. But the last 12% or so has had me stumped.

I wanted to do a gallery wall but couldn’t seem to find all the pieces I wanted for it. I couldn’t decide whether or not  to paint a vanity because I couldn’t decide on a color that I loved with everything else. And if I didn’t paint it, I didn’t want to keep it. And so it just sat there.

There were little projects here and there (mostly involving spray paint) that I kept putting off because of all of the other little details nagging at the back of my mind.

And then there was the issue of the bedside table.

Della listens to music each night, so she needed a place for her music player and her water cup, plus any other “necessary” odds and ends beside her bed.

But Della’s bed is very low, and finding a small table that doesn’t overwhelm the space or seem comically disproportionate to the bed has proven to be unexpectedly similar to solving a quantum physics equation hard. 

Enter this cute fabric-covered bird table from Hobby Lobby. It was the last one on clearance, and it mostly went with the colors in her room, so I snapped it up and brought it home to roost (see how I did that?).

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It’s cute, right? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it by itself.

Except that it didn’t take me long to figure out that it wasn’t quite right for the space. Too tall. Too much competition with the rug, which I luuuuuurve. Not that that kept it from staying there for months because I couldn’t seem to find a better option.

Until Saturday, that is.

On a trip to Target for something else entirely, I spotted an adorably funky little table that looked like it just might finally be tiny enough and the right colors to make the space work how I wanted it to.

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And you know what? I was right!

Now, I fully expect to get at least a comment or two saying, “But the first one was better!” And I get that. Because it is a very pretty table.

But I think when I show you the entire space you’ll see why the Target table was the better choice.

So, when will that be, Abbie? I mean, after all, it’s taken you two years (oops, I wasn’t supposed to mention that) to show us this much! (In my defense, you got another little peek back at Christmas, not to mention when I showed you this aqua and white stenciled desk).

Well, you know how sometimes something small just clicks, and all of a sudden, everything else just falls into place? For some reason, buying this little table was like that.

Suddenly, I knew what color I wanted to paint the vanity (which means it’s staying). I knew which art I wanted. Heck, I even knew how to end world hunger.

Okay, sadly, not that.

But I think I can say with relative confidence (see how I hedged there?) that I will be doing a full-on reveal of Della’s long-awaited (who are we kidding? you gave up waiting 18 months ago) big girl room very soon because I have a vision, ya’ll!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what Della thought of her new table…

della pillow

I don’t really know because she was too busy getting uber-excited about her new ombre ruffle pillow I also snagged on the same trip to Target (I don’t guess anybody who’s ever set foot in Target should be surprised that I walked out with a ruffle pillow and a bedside table when I went in for stools).

So, what about you guys? Does getting one little thing right sometimes break through a case of decorating block? I tend to get hung up on the details, so getting one of those banged out usually gives me a bit of push.

When was the last time you went into Target for something specific and only came out with the item(s) you had in mind? I think a feat of such Herculean strength would require avoiding all decorating aisles, party aisles, office supply, beauty, and clothing. So, yeah. Basically the whole store.

New Kitchen Lights (and a quandary)

I mentioned last week in my lighting roundup post that you guys might be surprised by the pendants that I chose for our kitchen island.

I said that because, after all of my openly professed love of color, it only seemed natural that I would go for one of the loud options. But the thing is, even though I do prefer vibrant looks to neutrals (at least for my own home; get me in a neutral-lover’s house done well, and I always adore the layers of texture and calming colors), and I have been known to layer color upon color,  I don’t like to take it too far.

And I knew that, for our kitchen, as much as we’ve already got going on, I wanted something that would provide a bit of sparkle and contrast over something too attention-drawing.

Which is why, after a ridiculous amount of deliberation and many consultations with Shaun that went something like: Me – “What do you think of this one.” Shaun – (cocks head and squints) “It’s ooookay, I guess”…I finally showed him this picture…

pendannts

…and his answer was an immediate, “THAT. I like that.”

Which is awesome, since I’d already been leaning toward one of these designs.

We liked the look of the three grouped together so much that we bought one of each.

kitchen lights 3

I’m super excited about the wow factor they’re going to bring to the kitchen. We’re going to try them with old-fashioned Edison bulbs for a bit of added funk (hopefully, since there are three, and we also have recessed lighting, it won’t be too dim).

The best part is that three of these cost what just two (or, in some far out just dreaming scenario, one) of some of the others I liked cost. They are $69, $79, and $89 respectively (from left to right) from Grandin Road, and they are BIG. So you get some serious bang for your buck.

Other than the fun, curvy shapes, the thing that sold me was the unique white-washed wood caps.

kitchen lights1

Other than color, my other decorating love is mixing textures. Like wood and glass. Or shiny gold against rough burlap. It just adds so much interest, no?

There’s just one teensy, tinsy little problem. Can you see it?

kitchen lights2

 

Yeah, I couldn’t at first either. But Shaun immediately spotted that little dark spot at the bottom of the plain dome.

kitchen lights2

Grrrrrr!

Y’all. I can look and look (for weeks–heck–MONTHS), patiently biding my time until I find just the perfect something for my house at the perfect price. But once it’s here, that’s it. I’m done. I have zero interest in sending it back and then waiting for them to process the return, make the exchange, and send me a new one. I want that baby HUNG!

So, tell me. What would you do? Yes, it’s a very small imperfection (I would say that in person it is both less and more noticeable depending on the angle). But it’s a light I paid for that’s not perfect, and I am perfectly capable of getting a good replacement (assuming it doesn’t arrive damaged again, I guess). On the other hand, it’s so very small that maybe no one would ever notice.

Hm. It’s hardly one of life’s most important or pressing questions, but I’d still love to get your feedback on what you think I should do.

 

4 Pairs of Designer Jeans

Hi ya, folks! I’ve got 4 pairs of designer jeans up for grabs in various sizes. The first one to comment “Sold” with their (paypal) email address gets the pair they claim! (Don’t forget to specify which pair you want).

#1 – Citizens of Humanity Kelly Low-Waist Bootcut

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98% Cotton/2% Lycra

Size: 30

Inseam: 31 1/2″

Price: $8

Shipping: $6

#2 – Citizens of Humanity Ingrid Low-Waist Flare

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98% Cotton/2% Lycra

Size: 27

Inseam: 29 1/2″ (I’m 5’7″ and can wear these with flats, but I am long-waisted with shorter legs, so there’s that)

Price: $5

Shipping: $6

#3 – Lucky Brand Jeans (slight flair) jeans3

lucky jeans

100% cotton (these don’t give so make sure they’re the right size)

Size: 26/2 (true to size)

Inseam: 32″

Price: $5

Shipping: $6

#4 – BCBG Max Azria Sophie Twisted Flare

jeans4

bcbg jeans

98% Cotton/2% Spandex

*Missing the covering to one back button (see pic); otherwise perfect condition

Size: 30

Inseam: 30″

Price: $5

Shipping: $6

Ogio Crossbody Bag

Hey guys! Up for grabs is this fab navy/white striped Ogio crossbody bag. It’s wipeable, has an adorable red/white floral sateen lining. Tons of pockets. Would make a fantastic school or even diaper bag, and is crazy-comfy to carry.

Measures approximately 12″X15″.

Excellent condition.
crossbody bag

Price: $10

Shipping: $6

First to comment “sold” with email address (please use the one you use for Paypal transaction) gets it!

Old Navy Strapless Dress + Ambercrombie and Fitch Jeans Jacket + MIA Wedges

Hey guys! How about another blog exclusive Shop My Closet item?

Well, 3, actually.

I’m selling this entire ensemble:

strapless dress

If you want to see more pics, go here.

Old Navy strapless knit dress (worn once).

SIZE: Small

PRICE: $6

SHIPPING: $5

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Ambercrombie and Fitch light-wash distressed denim jacket, perfect condition.

SIZE: Medium (fits like an XS)

PRICE: $15

SHIPPING: $5

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MIA wedges in good used condition

SIZE: 9 (TTS)

PRICE: $3

SHIPPING: $5

P.S. If you buy items together, I will combine shipping and give you a custom quote.

Comment with your email address and which item(s) you want, and I’ll contact you!

MIFM Closet Cleanse

Hey guys! shop my closet

This is happening right now over at @misformama on Instagram!!

However, I will also be listing items here on the blog for those of you without instagram throughout the day so be sure to check back in and see if there’s something you want.

And if you’re not my size, don’t worry! I’ll have some bags, shoes (okay, well you’ll have to be my size in those too), and accessories for sale too!

And then, there were 10…

I’m afraid that I’ve been very remiss in the introductions department around here. You see, we have a new addition. Actually, make that three new additions.

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Meet Whiskers, Ginger, and Scout (top to bottom).

They’re the cutest little invaders, and regardless of the fact that the twins have done their best to choke them to death on numerous occasions, the truth is we’re all very happy they’re here.

They’re really rather remarkable felines.

They like to quietly ponder life’s greater mysteries. IMG_1590

“I wonder how long I can stand here in peace before Scout and Whiskers ambush me?”

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“Not long, apparently.”

They play piano.

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Their favorite song? Why, “Fur” Elise, of course. {Groan}

They do magic tricks every now and then.

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Behold the Genius Ginger, and his incredible two-tailed cat trick!

They even do their best to blend in with the decor.

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But mostly, they just lie around a lot and chase each other’s tales.

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Oh, and they make my kids smile.

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And that’s enough for me.

What about you guys? Any new additions in your house?

Are you a pet family? We’re not. I mean, my kids would (theoretically) be all about it, but we’ve tried our hands at fish and now cats, and while the fish were, ahem, not entirely successful, we’ve had the kittens for a few months now, and the kids are still feeding and playing with them, so we’ll call that a win.

God’s got this, Mama.

Update: I whipped up this simple little printable for you guys just in case you need a visual reminder of this truth (just click the image, then right click, “save image as,” and print—up to an 8X10)

gods got this

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine with five little boys in a row (I think the oldest is 6) looked me straight in the eyes and said: “Are there ever days when you just feel like you want to give up?”

My answer (while laughing) was a resounding: “YES!” I wasn’t laughing because I found her question funny. I was laughing because I was thinking, “Doesn’t everybody??”

And then she said: “Well, what do you do on those days?”

My answer? “The next thing. When I’m overwhelmed, I shove my extra to-do list out of my mind and do whatever needs to be done that doesn’t seem like too much work. Like laundry or dishes or putting the pillows back on the couch. That usually helps my perspective and gets me going on the next thing after that. If that doesn’t help, I take a nap if I can.”

And then this week, a young mama left this comment on a post:

“Please oh please, tell me your secret! How do you have time for travel and dinner parties and thrifting and decorating and have 5 kids?! I have 3, ages 4, 2 , and 7 months (my Ezra, btw :) ). I can’t seem to do anything besides cook, clean, and keep my kids alive.”

I thought about it for a bit, and this is what I came up with:

“Hi Leslie! Yay for Ezras!

You know, I was originally just going to be all self-deprecating and say, ‘I don’t have any secrets.’

But really, I have three very practical ones:

1) I have really nice family 30 minutes away. My mom is an angel, and keeps my older kids (sometimes all of them) one day each week for me.

2) I have worked with my kids a lot. I know that sounds like bragging, and I’m sure you work with yours too, but I honestly believe that one of my greatest strengths as a mama is my tenacity. I will keep hammering the same thing until my kids get it, even if it’s torture for me! :) Which means that, while my kids have lots of things that they still need work on, and I am by no means perfect in my consistency, they ARE pretty dang good at helping out with things like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, getting their own food, cleaning their rooms, etc. And we’re adding new tasks all the time as they get older.

So hang in there and keep fighting the good fight in teaching them how to be self-sufficient. It will pay off BIG time before you know it.

AND AND AND

3) Mine are older than yours. Seriously, the hardest mama-ing time of my life was when I only had two kids and they were both little bitty. Seriously. 5 is actually easier because my boys, while not old, are old enough to be extremely helpful, and, because of all the afore-mentioned training we’ve done, they are genuinely so.

You have three little bitties very close together, and it may just be that during this particularly season in your life, not much gets done other than the keeping alive and the cleaning and cooking (HEY! That’s a TON!).

Try not to be too hard on yourself and ask Jesus for help every second you think of it. You got this, Mama! :)

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Over the last three years of blogging, I’ve gotten a lot of  emails with similarly themed questions, and it’s taken me a while to swallow this concept, but I’m realizing that, even with very small children still, I’m entering a different phase of Mamahood. I’ve made it through 5 rounds of sleep-training and nursing/feeding transitions. I’m a three time veteran of The Terrible Twos and potty-training. I’ve taught two children to read.

At almost 32, I’m hardly a “seasoned pro,” but I’m no longer the clueless 23-year-old I was with Ezra.

Color me surprised, but I might actually have some hope to offer to younger moms who are still deep in the trenches of that fumbly, what-in-the-world-have-I-gotten-myself-into place of motherhood that feels so profoundly terrifying and isolating (never mind that if you were to get a straight answer from a fellow mama of littles, she would know just how you feel, no matter how put together she appears on the outside).

So! For what it’s worth, young mamas, if you’re wondering whether I ever have those throw-in-the-towel kind of days, the answer is most definitely affirmative.

But I have fewer of them than I used to, praise Jesus. And I have the perspective of knowing that those peskily adorable little blessings will eventually sleep through the night. They won’t always prostrate themselves on the stickiest, nastiest aisle in Walmart, screeching until their throats are raw because they didn’t get their favorite cereal. The ability to share and play independently will slowly take the place of grunting and grabbing and SHE-TOOK-MY-TOY tantrums.

It won’t happen on its own, mind you. Oh no. It will take years off your life in perseverance and patience. You will grow so weary of hearing your own voice repeating phrases like: “Put your bowl in the sink. Say ‘thank you.’ CLOSE THE DOOR!!!” You will weep and question God’s judgment in ever making you a mother because surely no other woman in the history of ever has lost her cool 326 times in one hour.

But one day, after all that praying and crying and monotonous repetition, you will come down the stairs to discover your 6-year-old changing a toddler without being asked, the 8-year-old getting snacks ready for everyone just like he was asked, and the 3 1/2-year-old putting her shoes on (the wrong feet, of course) without melting down every time the straps don’t do what she wants.

The heavens will break open, and legions of angels will descend upon you singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

And then you’ll do something crazy like take your older boys with you to the grocery store while all the littles are sleeping, just because it sounds like fun.

shopping with the boys

And you know what? It will be!

So, don’t despair. Remember that children are proof that that whole, “God won’t give us more than we can handle” business is a load of crock. And that’s okay. Because the realization that we are insufficient drives us toward Him, which is always a good thing.

I ended my response to Leslie with, “You got this, Mama.” But that’s not quite true. Because the reality is:

“God’s got this, Mama!”

And that is infinitely better.

A Pendant for Your Thoughts…

I mentioned a while back when we were talking kitchen that one thing on my to-do list was to find the right lighting for over our kitchen island. Well, life (read: summer and traveling) has gotten in the way of that little job (no complaints here), but I finally got around to doing some hunting.

And this is what I discovered: one could easily spend the rest of one’s life looking at pendant lighting options and never exhaust all of them.

Seriously, people. It’s a dangerous, suck-you-in kind of search. But one that ended in victory! (I hope. I haven’t actually received the ones I ordered yet). And so, I thought I’d share some of my findings with you, just in case you too are in the market for some new lighting and don’t want to get sucked into the vortex of oblivion that is finding the just.the.right.one.for.just.the.right.price.

Oh, and just so you know, since I don’t do expensive (although, holy wow, pretty lighting gets up there fast), there are only 3 options $200 and over (most are $40-150), and all of these are substantially-sized. No mini-pendants here.

First up, let’s take a gander at the light and bright variety.

light and bright

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I think all of these would look ah-mazing in a neutral kitchen and add a ton of personality without being too LOOK-AT-ME. (That Ikea pendant at the bottom right, for example, has subtle details like a brass collar and black/white patterned cording).

Next up, we have the exact opposite end of the spectrum with a group of lights whose entire purpose in life is to draw attention to themselves. (Oh, and maybe help light up a room too).

colorful characters

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We came thisclose to buying an Addie Pendant (bottom left) from Ballard Designs (they’re on sale today and tomorrow for 15% off, which doesn’t happen that often), but once I’d read all the reviews and realized that the colors were considerably more saturated than they appear in the photos, we passed (anybody else shocked that I passed on something because it was too colorful? :) ).

And last up, we have the grungiest of the bunch—the industrial gang.

 

industrial

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I absolutely love that funky gold caged one on the top left (which is why I included it even though it’s one of the most expensive). But, in general, I find the strong lines, scuffed metal, and intricate details of the industrial look really appealing. I think any of these would look just as awesome in a pristine white traditional kitchen as a funky, eclectic one.

So, which one(s) do you think we chose for our kitchen? Hint:  you might be surprised.