Friday, September 28, 2012

a fresh coat of black

Thought I'd share a quick update we did a few weeks (er, month) back....
In preparation for Ada's party (I promise to post pictures before her next birthday!) Alan and I were in spiffy up the patio mode. He pressure washed while I slipped a sexy coat of black paint on the patio pillars.
Not such a huge deal, but it was something I noticed every time we went out. The black paint on the pillars had faded. Before, above. After, below.

Luckily we had some leftover exterior paint that we used to spruce up the front door at the last house before we left.

Can you see the difference? The camera doesn't do the glossy makeover justice.

Small change. Big me anyway. Now I've got my eye on those doors.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Women of Faith

This past weekend I was privileged to attend the Women of Faith conference here in GA.. I loved every second! But let me back up a bit...

The year before I was invited to attend, and with the full expectation of a whole life transformation, I went gleefully. Yet the whole life change didn't occur. Instead I had a joyful experience full of laughter and praise, worship and dance, fellowship and memory making. It was perfect, just not as I imagined. This time around I attended with the full expectation of a good time. Guess what I had....A blast! I truly feel like I have the best group of girlfriends imaginable. I have an awesome God and He opened this little heart of mine just a little.

I heard the words...Be You. Now I don't know if those two words were even spoken together in such a context the whole weekend...but that's what I heard.

So this is my challenge. To figure out who this You is and to be her.

I have a feeling she's pretty darn awesome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

something to say...

Albert Einstein was invited to speak at a banquet held in his honor at Swarthmore College. Hundreds of people from all over the country crowded an auditorium to hear what he had to say. When it came time for him to speak, the greatest physicist walked to the lectern, solemnly looked around, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry, but I have nothing to say.” Then he sat down. The audience was in shock. A few seconds later, Einstein got up, walked back to the podium, and spoke again. “In case I have something to say, I will come back and say it.” Six months later he wired the president of the college with the message: “Now I have something to say.” Another dinner was held, and Einstein made his speech.
Point Man, Steve Farrar, pp. 11-12
It occurs to me that I am one lazy blogger. Life whips by and I go about my pretty little busines without updating all the two of you who follow. So take this post and know that sometimes I just have nothing to say.
But caution....sometimes I do....
Hold on's about to get real

Thursday, September 13, 2012

switching the switch

Have I told you before that the Mister is a light bulb man? You can find me in the paint department, him....the light bulbs. Seriously.

When we moved into the new home the first thing Alan did was change ALL of the bulbs to more energy efficient standards. That was cheap!

It took me a long time to ever get this man of mine to consider anything "green" but once he saw a difference in the electric bill....he's been a full on bulb man.

In the front of the basement, when we moved in, we had one switch to turn on the lights for the entire main room and one switch to turn on the fan over the sofa area (the area closest to the outside doors). This worked OK. But in the back of the room we had two light switches (there are light switches all over this house! One day I'm seriously going to count them.) that had no purpose. I would walk into the back of the basement, away from any natural light source, and flip these useless switches thinking they'd magically produce some sort of light for me. It just seemed logical. Instead I had to walk all the way to the front of the know, 12 steps, and light the whole space.

Well, with my constant, pointless switch flipping and Alan's constant need to reduce the amount of energy a room produces (I kid you not, he told me how much each bulb in that room would cost us in one month.) we decided to make the logical a reality.

He spent a matter of minutes tracking a wire's way through the drop ceiling and discovered we were already set to have a "pool table light". Good to know. So he did some sort of wire switch thing. (I will never understand how that man can know so much about motors, wires, cables, little black boxes that give us the Internet, yet not know where the bowls go in the kitchen.)

Now we have two separate switches to operate the lights in the room, front and back. You can imagine his delight to be saving half of the energy and my delight that when I flip a works!

A small change that has made a big difference, and cost us nothing. Ready for pictures?

The whole room lit up....


now the back

and now the front

Don't you feel inspired?

Is there a small change in your home you've been wanting to make? Something that just doesn't seem to function the way it should? Does it just need you to stop and do it already? Go do it friend! It's your home. Allow it to work for you, not against you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

polka dots are the new stripes

We've been busy in Ada's new room!

Are you seeing dots? Big, beautiful, pink dots? I'm in love with how this focal wall has turned out!

Clearly, that window still needs some help. And I left a few areas a bit bare because I knew window dressings would soon someday cover those areas.

For this polka dot wall project I debated paint vs. vinyl decals. Paint would cost me about $3 in a sample paint can from Lowe's. I could come up with a stencil and have the wall finished in a few hours. Although I feared me and a stencil would result in a few misshapen circles. (We could call that character, of course.) Vinyl would cost more and wasn't as easy to access but would be sharp and crisp as well as easy to remove should the time come for us to say goodbye to the polka dots. Paint on the other hand wouldn't be as easy for Ada to remove should she get a bit peeved in her room. (Room damage has been known to happen when we get mad)
I went with the vinyl decals. I used my Silhouette to cut 8in circles out of light pink vinyl. I ended up using every bit of three rolls, which is why this project ended up taking me way longer to finish...I had to purchase more vinyl.
But I'm so glad I did. There is no way I could have made these dots this crisp and almost preppy looking with a paint brush.
Can you spot Ada's birthday present in the above image?

I love how the dots peek out from behind the headboard.
The square, teal pillows are a sweet contrast to the pink dots.

So how did I get from this...

to this?

Come board my girly room train of thought....

We had stripes in the last home which resulted in an over load of pink. I knew I wanted clean white walls this go round. Accomplished here. Next I needed to add some fun to the stark space.

My inspiration for Ada's room could be summed up in one word...playful. That is the idea for my, now 4 year old girl. A playful, fun, easy space. After all, she still has quite a few years before we go full "big girl room" on her.

And what's more fun than Polka Dots? I had been inspired by Me Oh My the second I saw her daughter's bathroom. Had to have me some fun dots somewhere in my new home! (Add it to the list.)

Then I saw this image on Pinterest and loved the idea of the dots being more random.
Pinned Image

And upon a further Pinterest inspiration search I stumbled upon this image....

baby girl candy baby room ideas

That's it. Done. I found my playful girl's room jumping point. And Joni at Lay Baby Lay had packaged it for me in a sweet little mood board. Thanks Joni!

So there you have it. From stripes in the last home, blue walls when we moved in and now on to polka dots. What do you think? Can you see Joni's mood board being the perfect setting for our little Bubblegum?

Also on the AdaLove to-do list: paint ceiling, window treatments, rug, lamps, nightstands, paint dresser & mirror, art gallery wall, hang hooks for dress up and the list goes on.
Can't wait to see where one image, some imagination, a little creativity and the many ideas of a pink minded little girl will take this space.
Stay tuned!

Shine Girls

A sweet sweet friend of mine, Jill, started a blog dedicated to reading the bible one chapter at a time (no weekends). This task will take a while and all are welcome to join on the journey. I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of women.

Today that sweet friend is featuring some words by yours truly. I hope you'll go check it out. Not just to check up on me but to see what this site is really about. I can already feel the Lord molding me one simple chapter at a time.

Friday, September 7, 2012

the big fat lie we're telling our kids...

It's true...we've been telling them a whopper...

The TV is broken. Gasp!

It was a long time coming in our home. I had become fed up with the bickering that accompanied the boob tube. They would fight over who would watch what, who was player #1, or even if they had to go outside to play. Seriously?

The summer ended with the boys being completely attached to that black hole. And as soon as school started that was the first thing they (mostly Andy) wanted to do when they got home. So we quickly pulled out the "no TV on school nights". A challenge in the beginning but they figured out we were serious. Come the weekend though....they were full-on that darned thing!

One Sunday afternoon I was working on some sort of house project and walked downstairs to find all three of my loves on top of each other, eyes glued to the TV. Not good.

After dealing with the moans as I dragged their lazy batooties outside, I snuck inside to flip the switch on the power strip....oops.

I actually thought the oldest would figure it out. He hasn't yet.

I have to say...this is the best my family has behaved in a long time. We've finally overcome the boredom stage and moved on to the finding other things to entertain us stage.  At any given moment you may find them reading a book, playing outside, or piecing together a puzzle. And what aren't they doing? Fighting, giving me attitude about having to do something or begging for useless junk they just saw in a commercial. Win, win, win.

Excuse the bad photo camera shots. This particular night they climbed, one by one, into my bed with a book. Not coerced or even encouraged. They all just wanted to join in.

This puzzle sat on the floor for about a week as they put it together only to take it apart and start again.

I, on the other hand, have been the last one to notice the change. The new home has really kept me busy and come night time....I'm out. But of course, when my shows start back up we might have to flip that switch back on Thursday nights.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

pressure's on

In preparation for Ada's patio birthday party (photos coming soon) Alan spent quite a few days behind the nozzle of the pressure washer. He tackled the patio and the front porch. It's amazing what some serious water pressure can do...

Can you guess which side is the after?

As I've mentioned before, the back patio area is lined in large crepe myrtles. These will be the source of some serious insanity for me. While beautiful, they are constantly dropping petals and pods on to the concrete below. It's like trying to keep the house clean while the kids are still playing....there is no end. Here's an above shot.

Check out that hunk of mine. You can bet that kind of flirting is for the little Miss.

The front porch also saw many days of spray action. Here's a shot of the ceiling, much less dramatic than the patio, but still as noticeable in person. One day this baby will be blue. Pressure washing truly is the closest thing to painting to freshen up your exterior.

For the record, we own our pressure washer and with the amount of times we've used it....worth every penny.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

slowing down

It's been a while since I posted anything here at A*Love. Life became...well, lived.

Do you ever feel like the world is spinning, the days are coming and going, decisions are being made, actions are taking place and then you look back and wonder....what just happened? I've recently had one of those experiences.

My whole family became caught up in one idea. And we rolled around in this particular idea. Not only did we roll around in it, we multiplied that 3! Then we (OK, me) woke up one day and asked..."what just happened?"

We had so much fun making plans and decisions without any real thought and found ourselves in a bit of a situation. A situation that took some serious planning and hard desicion making to overcome. But we did. (I'll screw these kids up yet!)

And through this little pickle of ours I realized that I have one serious bad habit....jumping the gun, acting without thinking, poor decision making based on the lack of any self given time to reflect. (Now, I'm not talking drastic decisions that could ruin a marriage, I'm talking about simple things that don't allow me the ability to do what is truly best for myself and my family.)

This has got to stop. My thinking and rationalization has to be given a priority. A priority over my weepy kids who aren't getting what they SO desire. I have to give myself the benefit of my own instincts, not my own desires or dreams of what could be. What could be is great, what will be is something I know in my heart to be true.

Today I felt I was doing all the right things. I made a list of all the things I must do, my "eat the frog" list. I was on a mission to accomplish these minor, yet major for the functioning of our home, details so I could move on to the fun stuff. What happens? The laundry is not yet caught up and I pick up a paint brush. A darned paint brush!

I know what I want that room to look like, I have the desire to make it happen, a gallon of paint just sitting there...eyeballing me....begging me to dip my neglected paint brush into it's creamy white substance, and something in me says "just do it". So I did. Do you think the laundry was ever seen again? That would be a big fat no.

And, as usual, life takes over the compulsive need to paint something....The kids come home from school and the house goes into Native-American-test-tomorrow mode. (I dare you to ask me where the Pawnee lived.) And although I have one kid who will ace his test tomorrow, I have neither caught up laundry nor a painted room. grr.

Again, a simple reminder that I need to slow things down around here. Why am I so worried about what that room looks like anyway? It will get done when it gets done. But these kids won't quit growing so I can finish painting. It's time for me to learn the art of taking a moment to reflect on a situation before acting.

I hope you'll stay with me as I slow things down in my life. Slow the home projects, slow the unneccesaryness of my everyday and focus on what matters. What truly matters.

Is there an area in your life where you need to slow down?