Happy 3rd Birthday, Greer Girl!

Friday, December 21, 2018
**written last night on Greer's birthday eve

It's been a tradition to rock my little lady to sleep on the night before her birthday, and this year was no different. After brushing teeth, pulling down the sheets, and slipping into pajamas, my sweet girl climbed into my lap and laid herself down in my arms. I cradled her like my tiny baby, tucking her long legs into me and snuggling a blanket around her. Almost like she knew I was feeling a little extra emotional, she reached up in the darkness and touched my face, lifting hers up to meet mine and placed the sweetest sugars across my cheeks, nose, and lips. Then she quietly said, "Thank you." I asked her why, and she responded, "For the sugars." 

Just like I did on the day she was born, I leaned over and rubbed my cheek against hers taking in the softness. Then I brushed her hair away from her face, and told her to close her eyes and dream of all the fun we would be having on her birthday. She peeped back, "...and rainbows." My girl wanted to also dream of rainbows, which unexpectedly struck a cord in my heart, the symbolism not lost on me. Greer is my rainbow baby, and I appreciate that sweet reminder of the Lord's faithfulness to us through her life. 

As I hummed the song I've been humming since she was an infant, Greer drifted off to sleep. I silently prayed for her now, for her future, and the gift that she is. And while I rocked back and forth I had a good long cry. Because the years are so fleeting, and there's no slowing them down. Because I love my daughter so much that it hurts. And while I want to bottle it up forever, there's really no way to keep her this little. It makes me sad, happy, excited, and anxious to watch her grow and blossom into the person the Lord has made her. I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness for her life and the gift and privilege it is to be her mom. 

These three years have been packed full of milestones, firsts, memories, adventures, giggles, tears, stuffed animals, bandaids, bows, and all the sugars. On the eve of her birthday, I can vividly remember sitting in bed with husband the night before she was born. I was huge and uncomfortable, yet savoring the last hours of feeling her dance in my belly. I was so very excited and scared of what awaited us the next morning. I knew life was going to change the moment I first saw her, but I had no idea just how wildly it would. How much my heart would grow, my arms could hold, and my mothering instincts would take control. Motherhood has been a wonderfully wild ride, and I can only imagine what's in store. Happiest of birthdays to my Greer girl!

**while tucking her into bed tonight, as I was standing back up from placing once more sugar on her oh-so-soft cheeks, my Greer looked up and said, "Thanks for the best evening!" My mama heart was done for. 

Holiday Home With The Hills

Thursday, December 20, 2018
The halls are decked and there are just five more sleeps until Christmas! Come on into our holiday home, and enjoy a little look around at the way we like to enjoy this time of year! Decorating our home for Christmas is my favorite, and I love the way the glow of the twinkle lights makes everything feel cozier. Don't you?

This year, I really wanted a touch of pink in our décor, so I jumped at the notion and started with some pink mercury glass ornaments and mauve velvet ribbon. I love the sweetness of the pink mingled with the green, and I think I'll be building on this color scheme in the years to come. I'm kind of smitten. Go ahead, take a look and see....

Lit wreaths hanging from the windows is quite possibly the most charming touch this time of year. Adding extra charm with velvet ribbons and patterned bows is the perfect way to add a personal touch! And the elegance of a flocked tree, oh my! I never gave a flocked tree a chance and on a whim decided to. I'm in love. It's the prettiest sight and really completes the dining room Christmas décor. 

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour! I hope you have the MERRIEST CHRISTMAS!! And thank you  so very much for reading the blog and following along! I am truly so delighted by each of you! xo

Limewashed Brick Exterior Makeover

Friday, December 7, 2018
A huge thank you to Romabio for helping us transform our exterior using their Avorio White Limewash
All styling, photos, and opinions are mine alone. 

We've done it! That is, we've taken on our biggest DIY-to-date, and I think we might be a little crazy for such a big undertaking, but oh my is it worth it. Our sweet little 1950's ranch has been ours since the end of summer 2016. When we first bought our home, it had been sitting vacant for about 11 years, and the outside needed a lot of love. More so, it needed charm. 

Over the last two years we've been working on our house from the inside out, with the exterior always on our mind. In its original state, it wasn't truly reflective of our style and the work we have accomplished with the interior. Thanks to Romabio, we finally began the exterior transformation using their Avorio White Limewash, and our sweet little home exudes so much character now. To say I'm obsessed wouldn't even cover it. I cannot believe what a difference limewashing our brick has made, adding shutters, attaching window boxes, and painting our porch has done. Our neighbors can't either!

We went with Romabio's limewash for a handful of reasons:
  1. The limewash is non-toxic, making it child- and pet-friendly, which is huge for our young family.
  2. We knew we wanted our brick to be white, but we loved the idea of a patina. Using Romabio's limewash, we were able to achieve that look instantly. The limewash will patina over time, but washing it off 30 minutes after applying it gave us the artistic ability to create the look we wanted. That subtle pop of the natural brick peeking through is kind of my favorite.
  3. It's a one-coat process that gives ways to an old world feel. I love the warmth and coziness of our interior and wanted to carry that through to the exterior.
  4. There is little to no maintenance involved. Can I get an amen??
For detailed instructions, visit the Romabio website, or check out this great video tutorial from a PRO applicator they recommend. 

We ended up limewashing our brick and stone to transform the entire exterior. One tip I would give anyone taking this process on is to be aware of the texture of your brick. Our particular brick is very textured and porous. To work with that, we diluted the lime 66% for thicker application. This also meant that we would need more buckets to get the job done. But, after trying a thinner dilution, we knew the thicker option was going to give us the best look. And did it ever!

To contrast our new white brick, we went with a deep chocolate shutter and painted the porch floor and stoop. Rounding out the house, we added two dimensions of landscaping. Remember, originally our home had no landscaping at all. And well, that just wasn't pretty. So we added white window boxes with my favorite, ornamental cabbage, and then put in shrubs. The difference of our before and after is staggering. I can't stop looking at our home!

As it is, time is hard to come by with two littles. So while the front and one side of our home are finished, we have the back and second side to complete. While the temperature and weather were nice for the first part of November, we most likely won't get to the remaining parts of the house until spring, or if a warm day pops up in-between. It's certainly a lot of work, but more than worth it. Our curb appeal has increased exponentially, and I think our neighbors are super happy to be looking at the beaut our home is now. I know we are! 

Be sure to check out where you can purchase Romabio with their Store Locator!

Once you have your product, Romabio has plenty of information, tutorials, videos and tips on their website to help you out. Their instagram feed has hundreds of examples if you're having trouble deciding on one of their seven pre-tinted shades of Classic Limewash. And, I'll be posting more photos throughout the year. So stay tuned...

Christmas Baking + Printable Recipe Cards and Gift Tags

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Tis the season for all the baking! This is one of my favorite Christmastime traditions, where we gather all the ingredients (and there are a lot!) to make an assortment of holiday confections. Usually, we're whipping up fudge puddles, muddy buddies, peanut butter balls, almond bark pretzels, and Chex mix. Last year, we decided to save making iced sugar cookies as a Christmas Eve tradition. So we're looking forward to that in just a few short weeks.

If you follow me on Instagram and remember my stories from last month, I asked you to share what you bake this time of year. Now I'm compiling that list, and I hope you find something new to try out this December!

C H R I S T M A S    B A K I N G    G O O D I E S

  • Chocolate Star Gingersnaps
  • Chocolate-Covered Pretzels with Peppermint sprinkled on top
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Decorated Sugar Cookies
  • Pretzel treats (add a Hershey Kiss and M&M on top)
  • Fudge
  • Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
  • Saltine Toffee
  • Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake
  • Meringue Kisses
  • Rasin Clusters
  • Candy Pies 
  • Cinnamon Rock Candy
  • Peanut Brittle 
  • Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning
  • Chocolate Caramel & Pecan Turtle Clusters
  • Christmas Bark
  • Pecan Pie Brownies & Bars

Once again, my sweet friend, Amanda partnered with me to make recipe cards and gift tags for Christmas. She and her husband are currently in the process of adopting, and we couldn't be more excited for them! This is such a fun way to share their story and to donate to their adoption if you feel led to do so! Grab these beautiful recipe cards and tags from the following links:

You can donate HERE.

p.s. I recommend printing everything out on card stock!

Children's Christmas Book Round-Up

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
We love reading in this house, and our Greer girl is always devouring book after book. At the start of each season, I love finding special holiday-themed books to gift the girls. Not only does it had to the festivity, but it's a fun way to incorporate a love for reading into our day-to-day. Personally, I'm a sucker for books with pretty covers and beautiful illustrations. It's true, sometimes I will buy a book based solely on the cover; it makes it easy to display them as part of the décor. And I love looking at lovely things, so why not shelves of beautiful books too??!

For this Christmas season, I found five new books to add to our growing collection from last year. We added The Night Before Christmas; When Santa Was A Baby (I just love this one!); Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas; The Little Reindeer; and Tallulah's Nutcracker. Each night at bedtime Greer picks out which book she wants to be read, and husband and I are equally as excited for a new book as she is! 

What are your favorite books for this Christmas season? 

**Affiliate links were used in this post. Thanks for supporting the blog!

A Mini Dining Room Makeover

Monday, December 3, 2018
This post is sponsored by Tuesday Morning. All thoughts, styling, and photos are mine alone.

I'm a believer that no space is ever truly finished. Which also means that I fall into the I-love-moving-furniture-around category. For me, I think there is always something to add, take away, revamp, etc. With passing time also comes new perspective, interests, styling, and aesthetic preferences, and that's what keeps my eye for design always mentally tweaking something until I'm ready to move forward with an actual change. 

Here's the thing though, I love a good deal. Savings on quality pieces is my favorite way to express my personal style in my home. My latest little project was to bring some more warmth to our dining room. With a concept in mind, I teamed up with Tuesday Morning to achieve a cozy transformation for this space, and I loved finding just the right pieces to achieve the mini makeover. 

My first goal was to find a rug to add a homier element into the room. I had an amazing selection of rugs to choose from and ultimately decided on a neutral rug with woven texture. Not only does it ground the space and make it cozier, it also adds dimensional charm. 

From there I found a console to act as a buffet. The sturdy, wooded piece was exactly what the space needed, and it allowed me to add even more texture with baskets. Because who doesn't love a basket or three? They're pretty to look at + create storage. 

a little design tip....changing out hardware on a piece like our new console is a simple + budget-friendly way to incorporate more personal style while also giving it a custom look.

While I was searching for my baskets, I happened upon the most perfect pillow to complement the room. How amazing is this gingham print that matches the wallpaper??! The ratio of the pattern is slightly bigger than what is on the wall, and is such a fun way to keep the pattern going in the space without duplicating it exactly. 

If you're looking to give a little extra love to any space in your home, be sure to check out Tuesday Morning. They offer quality, name-brand products at incredible savings. There's always a new deal each and every day! 

The Great Christmas Tree

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
It's one of my favorite traditions of the holiday season. Bundling up, knit hat on, boots laced up, Christmas tunes playing for the drive. And that fresh fir scent that mingles in the cold air as you brush through rows of towering evergreens in search of the perfect tree. I've loved this since I was a little girl, and I have the fondest memories of the trek to and from the tree farm and the excitement of finding a tree that was as plump as it was tall. 

Now I get to share this sweet memory-making tradition with my husband and our girls. It literally thrills me; I cannot contain the excitement. This year, it was a frigid 28° while we were at the tree farm. We brought out the snow suits for this excursion, and I loved watching my little pink fluff hunt for a tree. Our littlest gal stayed toasty on me, keeping me equally as warm....well my trunk (my hands could have used some heat!). 

We found our tree in record time, partially thanks to the cold moving us along. Husband chopped (rather cut) it down, and now it stands in our family room like the majestic beaut that it is. Our whole home smells like Christmas thanks to this tree. And the twinkle lights are on all day and night long, giving me the happiest holiday feels. 

We thought about back-tracking for a photo with the sled, but quickly thought better about it. The cold was a bit too much, so we headed to the little shop to find an ornament and some pumpkin butter to keep us till next year.