Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gorgeous Lighting Want List

Good Afternoon Friends!
I am going to attempt this again.  If you follow me on facebook, then maybe you saw my ranting yesterday that this entire blog post got erased.  I just had to step. away. from. the. computer at that point.  Sometimes when the stress gets to ya....you just have to take a break, and that's what I did :)  Today I'm feeling much better.  Today the kids are behaving, and haven't trashed the house as quickly as they did yesterday, and the sun is shining and I'm feeling good.  Let's just forget about yesterday shall we!  

Today I am going to share with you my lighting want-list and see if I can get some opinions out of you guys! I have had lighting on my mind a lot recently.  We have done a lot of updates to this house in the years we have lived here....we've also done a lot of wrecking this poor house as well....but that's another post.  One thing we haven't done at all is upgrade any of the lighting.  Every light in this house is the original light that was here when the house was built.  I thought it would be fun to show you what we currently have, and then a couple of pictures of what I am thinking of replacing it with.  Now, it will certainly take me a long time to get through all of them....but I have plans to replace all of them.  There are a few rooms I didn't include at this point, like the master bedroom and my boys room.  I figured I'd tackle first things first.  

First up is the kitchen and dining area:  

This is the chandelier over my kitchen table.  While it's not the most hideous chandelier ever, my tastes have changed and I no longer like this one at all.....and it doesn't hang strait.  It has always bugged me from day one.  

Here is what I want to replace it with:  

 Either this one:, without the shades....

Or this one 

Gosh I love them both.....which one do you vote for?  

Here is the other side of my kitchen.  It's just the worst. I just hate hate hate this fluorescent light.  It's really tricky though.  I have several totally different options to put here because I have no idea what kind of light to put.  Ideally it would be several can lights, but I'm not shelling out money to have the electrical re-wired when this isn't going to be our forever home.   There is no Island, so it has to be some sort of flush mount, but it's a longish rectangular space, so I wonder if I need a longer string of lights or if one in the middle will do......I don't know...

Here are the options:  

This first one is just soooo pretty and it has length to it.   I figured that if there was a way to make it closer to the ceiling instead of dropping it down with those two bars on top, it could work.  It's super pricey though.  

I'm kind of leaning toward this one. It's just fun, and different and it makes me smile.  I think it's big enough to work.  You can see it here in John and Sherry of Young House Love's entryway.  
 (link here

This is more of a traditional approach.  I like this just as much.  It's just the safer way to go.  
(link here)  

Over the sink.  It's just a boring little light that gets dust trapped in it. 

I want a glam pendant to hang here.

This one is pretty and it also comes in chrome, so I have options.  I like the fact that it's a closed globe, but I'm liking the one below a little better with minimal hardware.    

I think I'm leaning towards this one....but something in me is thinking I could DIY this one....but it is pretty cheap....decisions decisions...

This silver one is just GORGEOUS and I would totally put it somewhere else in the house if I didn't decide to use it in the kitchen.  I do love it.  Can you tell I like shiny things.  

Next is the living room/great room, which is visible from the dining area.  

We have a big black fan with a nice mammary shaped light shade.  
I haven't told the husband that I intend on ditching the fan....hope he doesn't fight for it (fingers crossed)  It really doesn't do us much good in this room anyway.  Now, if it were the master bedroom fan, I'm sure we'd have a fight.  But that's okay, I'm not planning on taking that one out. I'm all kinds of fine with sacrificing aesthetics for comfort when it comes to our bedroom....but this one, it needs to go.  

I'm not going to buy either one of these lights specifically, but this is the idea I'm going for.  I want it to be HUGE and have a much bigger light fixture than what's inside either one of these.  I think this one is going to be a DIY.  I just have to find something good at a thrift store that I can use as the light base.  Wish me luck on that one.  Renaissance woman I may be, but I have never even pretended to wear the hat of "electrician."  Scares me even thinking about it.   
Still deciding if I want big dark metal loops, or more delicate wire ones.  
(link here
 (link here)

Other lights I want to add in the living room: 

I may have to paint this one gold....maybe....

The next two are the same light...just different finishes.  I could see myself using both finishes depending on getting the room "finished"

Out of all of the sconces, I like this one the best
(link here

The next area is the entryway.  This has a slightly fancy "boob" light.  Sorry if that offends anyone's sensibilities, but every since I heard someone call it that, I can't see anything else when I look at these things.....one more reason they have to go.   
The entry is very small....I am standing in the front door to take this shot.  So anything I put here has to hang pretty close to the ceiling....but I still want it to make a statement since it's the first thing you see when you come in the front door. 

Here's what I found:  
love all three of these.....

This one might be my fav
(link here

All of the other rooms (except the bathrooms) have lights like these next pictures. 

In the hallways and laundry room, I want to do different pendants.  I would go with any of the ones I didn't choose for over the sink or the entryway... and then I also liked these: 

Same one, different finish....like them both.
Could totally diy this one
and this one
 (link here

for my girl's room.....I'm going to DIY a crystal chandelier.  I already have the pink crystals for it :).  My mother in law bought a big fancy one for her bathroom and it came with both clear and pink crystals.....so she just gave them to me.  Score!  

For the spare room/guest room/office/ place I keep my daughter's dressers....which is totally NOT done yet, I want one of these cute shades. 

That's all I'm going to do for today.  I have more house and more places to put lights....but yeesh....I don't know if I'll ever get it all finished.  I will say that this was SO fun. I get little twitterpated heartbeats when I see these light fixtures.  What do you guys think?  Which are your favorite?  I'm excited to get started on DIYing some of these.....and saving up for the rest of them.  

Have a great day! 

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tips To Get Over a Cold Quickly and Naturally: The Journey to Wellness

Good Afternoon!  Today is a beeeeautiful spring day.  I am one of the few who get to actually enjoy the spectacular springs in South Carolina.  A lot people around here are shut indoors with seasonal allergies because the pollen is pretty intense.  Anyways, I'm loving this time of year.  It has inspired me to get some outside projects started.  I'm working on making over my front porch area soon.  It's currently pretty sad.  Stay tuned for those projects.  I'm also slowly chipping away on finishing my fireplace, so that will be a pretty big reveal coming up pretty soon too.

Today I'm going to share an article from another blog.

 The article is called Natural Remedies for the Common Cold. and it is written by Joi from The Journey to Wellness.  I read this post this morning and, Let me tell ya....I was very impressed.  These are some very helpful tips on how to ward off a cold using natural remedies....and why some of the over the counter remedies are doing more harm than good.   I just had to share with you guys.   I've always been interested in health and wellness and have actually done a lot of research on it myself.  Everything she says here is spot on with what I've read before, and also....it's SO SIMPLE.  My eight year old could read this and understand it completely.  She has a knack for taking a complicated topic and breaking it down very simply for you.  It's a very easy read and you come away with a bunch of information that makes you go...."oh, wow, I didn't know that...that's good to know."  like this little excerpt:

"9.Stay away from refined sugar. Refined sugars like margarine or white flour can actually repress your immune system and reduce the action of your white blood cells. Not to mention, it also feeds bacteria and viruses, and has absolutely no nutritional value. I know it is hard not to grab for the ice cream when you're feeling under the weather, but resist, and you will feel so much better!"

I hope you go check out this brand new blog, show her some love, and educate yourself to a better way of living and eating.

Okay....and I do have one more little thing to say
Joi from The Journey to Wellness is also my little sis!

I didn't want to start off with that because I didn't want people to think that my raving review of her blog was just because she's my sister.  My review is based solely on my true opinion.  In fact, she asked me to share her blog a week ago, and (even though I liked it) I told her I was going to wait until she had more content because it is so brand new.....but when I read this post, I liked it so much, I just had to share!

There you have it, go visit my sis at The Journey to Wellness and you can follow her facebook page here and her google plus page here.

Here are some obligatory cute pictures of my sis and I

 With our mom

Hugging my cute kids

 It was the 80s!  I'm holding her as a baby. 

Hope you all have a lovely spring day :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Budgeting Ideas and DIY Spending Priority Command Post

Hey guys!  Hope everyone had a great Easter!

 Today.....I'm going to talk MONEY ;)   I made a quick, fun little DIY craft yesterday to help us keep our spending in check and I thought I would go over how we balance and maintain our meager little budget.....and a few tips I have for keeping things in check.

Let me start off by saying that we don't use credit cards.  The only debt we have is our mortgage and usually a car payment.....we did have a car payment until we paid it off with our tax return a month ago (YEAH!).  We tried the whole credit card/random loan thing back when we first got married and the results were disastrous.  So, we save up for every big purchase we have.  A lot of big big things end up coming out of our tax return, since we are lucky enough to get a decent one each year.

Here's what ends up happening though.....we go through lean times and really buckle down and budget the heck out of ourselves and get creative with money saving techniques and really save every penny....this in turn results in more prosperous times....then, because we feel like we have plenty of "extra" money, we lose our minds a little bit and overspend....sending us back to the scrimping and saving.  Am I alone in the cycle?  I doubt I am.

Usually what I do is lay out a budget for each pay day.  I list all of the things I've allocated to be paid with the first pay check under it's date.  Then I move on to the next pay day (we have two a month) and lay out the rest of the things for the month under that date. I include all bills, tithing, savings and I always budget a specific amount for groceries and gas.  Anything misc usually gets included in the grocery budget if it's small.  Then what I do is I go to the bank on pay day and pull out our grocery money, gas money and any money that is left over after all of the bills are paid in CASH.  I get the bank to give me extra little envelopes to separate it out.  :)  Doing this helps me to not swipe my "magic card" and unknowingly spend the money that's already allocated for something else....or it keeps the hubs and I from both spending the same money....we both think we have the same amount, and we both spend it on different things (this totally happens when we leave money in our account).  If you pull out everything extra in cash, then you can see what you have in front of you and you are less likely to mindlessly spend.  Now, one problem you can have with cash is how quickly it can go once you break a big bill.  The envelopes help with this.....and my new DIY project below will help with this as well.   
You know, they say that no matter how much money you have, you will never get ahead until you can learn to live beneath your means.  Spend less than you bring in, whether you have a small income or a large one, you can accomplish your goals if you are strict on yourself.....it'll just take you a lot longer the less you have (sigh....I'm in that boat, lol) 

To help our family prioritize our spending, I made a list.....I have made this list a hundred times before.   I Guess it wasn't working since I've had to make my list over and over again.  I have trouble remembering what I've put on my list when my list is put away in my notebook.  I decided we needed a big, visible, board that I will see constantly.  The problem was that I knew it wasn't going to be pretty (or so I thought)  and I didn't want guests to see all of our financial business posted all over our walls.  I decided to go ahead and see what I could come up with. 

 What I wanted was to force us to narrow down our top five priorities, and focus on paying for those things first.  I'm talking big ticket items, small things and medium things.  Basically anything, big or small, that we need to pay for or want to buy that isn't included in our monthly budget.  

Here's what I made:  
It's a dry erase board made out of a large frame, and some pretty scrap book paper.  


Ok....laugh at me....I spray painted our yard.  I was in a hurry.  It will wash away. 


To miter the edges of the paper, I folded like so....and cut. 

I put it all together with spray adhesive.  I glued it all to the random piece of card board that came between the backing and the glass in the frame.  


I trimmed the edges and put it in the frame.  Easy peasy. 

In case you can't see what this says (it's blurry no matter what I do, since the glass is reflecting back the dry erase marker)  The top says: Budget Priorities.  Then the pink words are "top 5 priorities," "cost", and "$ allocated."   The blue words at the bottom say "amount in reserve" and "notes."  

Basically, we list off our top five spending priorities.  We made sure to include one big ticket item, two small trivial things, and two medium priced things.  As we pull out any extra cash we have on paydays, we go and decide what to allocate it to.  It may cover the entire thing or we may slowly chip away at it.  As new things come up, there's a space to jot them down at the bottom, so we re-evaluate what is most important considering the new items.  The amount in reserve section is just a total of the amount of money we are holding as we are saving up for these things.  

Here's an example of it all filled out.  These are dummy ideas, and money amounts....as much as I love getting personal with y'all,  I'll probably refrain from showing you exactly what's in our budget if you don't mind ;)  .....I WISH we were saving up for Disney....but we aren't.... won't be long with this new system though! 

I really wish I could get a good picture of this.  I tried like crazy to get a good one of it hanging on the wall, but those were even worse.  Here's the best I could get.  This really is one of those things that is WAY cuter in person.  

It's hanging on the wall in the hallway across from my bedroom door.  I can't miss it.  This is one spot that you can see from most of the house.  It has been a bright blue reminder to keep ourselves in check and work toward the goals that really matter, instead of buying trivial stuff, nickeling and diming ourselves into oblivion.  

I have more plans to come up with something very cool to cover this when we have company over, so I'll probably do a second blog post when I have that finished.  

Hope you all have a great day!  


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