Monday, April 6, 2015

MOTIVATED | My Design and Styling Process

Happy Monday, Loves!

How was your Easter weekend? Ours was pretty laid back. Yesterday we spent some time with friends during the earlier parts of the day and had an amazing church service later in the evening. I always miss being with family during holidays like this but I am so thankful for the people in our lives that act as amazing surrogates! 

Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to take you through the way I come up many times with a lot of the inspirational table settings and other decor and DIY here on the blog. 

I know some of you probably think I plan for things weeks or even months in advance, and while I am definitely attempting to be a little more organized in my planning when it comes to the blog, that couldn't be any further from the truth. 

Sometimes, just like the rest of my life, inspiration hits me out of and I get it all over the place. It happens when I'm just sitting on the sofa, grocery shopping, in the kitchen washing dishes or cooking...it's kind of a curse sometimes. Why? Well, because no matter what I am doing, I always feel the urge to stop what I am doing and start creating. 

Last week was one of those where there were lots of those days. There are times when I am completely sapped out creatively and then there are those times when I am in absolute overload in the brain. Last week was one of those weeks. I kept a pen and paper near for the madness that would surely ensue. 



As most of you know, I have kind of a thing for flowers and will shop our local grocery store and floral markets to make all of the pretty arrangements I have floating around in my head. 

This one didn't necessarily start out or end the way I expected it to but I've learned that's never really a bad thing at all. Sometimes the most unexpected beauty comes out of what seems to be an absolute mess. This is the case for me most of the time when it comes to putting a table or a space together. I'm not really sure how it works but I've learned not to stress about it too much and just let the plates fall where they may. Literally. Gently and without breaking, of course. 




Sippy cups and all, I spread out some butcher paper and went at it. I knew I wanted neutral tones with some dark flowers filling in spaces here and there but I had no idea that this is what I would end up with. Usually when I go to the market, I just know what I like and I pick it up. 

Now, I am by no means a professional floral designer. We all know that. If I were planning for an event, however, I would have been more thoughtful about my selection BUT the fun part about just playing around in your own home for the purpose of blogging and giving inspiration is that you have the freedom to just flow. That's what I like to do the most. More than anything... 



Poppy pods, ranunculus, ferns...I added them all and played around a lot with the placement of everything. I really thought that I would just leave it at that...just a fun arrangement to add some personality to the table but then I just couldn't stop there. 




I couldn't really figure out what type of vessel I wanted to use so I just pulled out whatever from my closet and started the process. It doesn't really match anything or even complement the style of the setting I was thinking of putting together but I decided not to care. I think the number one rule for me right now in my creative process is, THERE ARE NO RULES. Just have fun and be free in expressing your gift. That is all. 



I went from arranging the flowers to a full blown setting for our table and ultimately for no other reason than to release those creative juices that had been bound up for so long. I needed to create something! How many of you out there can relate to that?  



Over the next couple of days, our table stayed this way. I had all sorts of spoons, plates, and flowers on the table until I could figure out what I wanted to do and I was determined not to spend a ton of money doing it. I decided I have more than enough just lying around to get the job done. Quite the challenge for me. 

I didn't love the layers going on above so then I decided to add those sweet and inexpensive bowls that I bought at Daiso Japan about a week or so ago and fell in love. 

This process span over a few days. So, what you see here isn't always a quick "oh I just threw this together" type of deal. Sometimes the creative process takes time. I'm happy these days to let it. 

Here's a sneak peek of the table. I'll be sharing more tomorrow and a special surprise just for YOU. 




xo,


Sunday, April 5, 2015

SUNDAY NIGHT INSPIRATION | GLORY IN THE GIFT

I've been thinking about today all week. It's Easter Sunday and along with most Christians in America, today is the day that we set aside to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, the reason we walk this walk and live the rich, free, meaningful lives we live. This day symbolizes so much and I thought for a few days that today I would surely write about well, Easter. 

It's only natural, right? You know, me being a Christian and writing on Easter Sunday about the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ. Well, I won't. I would, however, like to share how that amazing sacrifice has, over 2,000 years later, brought me to a place I never thought I'd be. Ever. In a million years. Then, add a million more. And the amazing part of it all is that He had me in mind. You and me. He thought about you. He thought about me. He saw it all from beginning to end because He loves me. He loves you. That sacrifice represents freedom for us all. Each and every one of us...

I talk about it a lot around here. Freedom. I've especially shared more on this topic the past few months as I've walked out so much of what God has called me into this past year and the gifts so long ago imparted, that have been used and some that I've yet to discover. 

I've gone my entire life searching for something for so long. Not knowing what I was searching for, I found it temporarily in so many other things in my life. Friends, superficial relationships, alcohol...you name it. 

Much like many of you, I am sure, I searched. Even within my relationship with God and sometimes even using the salvation Christ had gifted me as a means of making myself look better or as something to hide behind to excuse away fear, pain, or past hurts, I still searched. 

And, if I am honest, I admittedly used many of my gifts as a selfish way of attracting attention to MYSELF. I know, it's human nature, right? We want to be liked and we want to be followed. We want to be accepted. We want to be loved. We want people to relate to us. Know us. Gah. The struggle is seriously real. But, what happens when the focus is on us and not on the ONE who ignites that passion, stirs up those gifts, breathes lives into those dreams? Well, ultimately, the fire fizzles, the passions lose their luster and those dreams shrivel and lose life. 

If you search scripture, you will see repeatedly that wherever Jesus went, others followed:
Matthew 19:2  Large crowds followed Him there and He healed them
John 6:2 And a great crowd of people followed Him because they saw the signs
Mark 5:24 So Jesus went with him. And a large crowd followed and pressed around Him...

Looking more closely at John 6:2 "because they saw the signs". Truth is, if we're really honest with ourselves at the end of the day, we really don't want people to follow us, do we? ( I mean, I love my privacy)  We want them to follow the passion. Or, the dream. Or, an idea but not US. 

There is freedom that comes in NOT striving or working to make YOUR gifts work but, instead, allowing God to work in hearts and lives through your gifts. There is FREEDOM in embracing the imperfectness, admitting that you don't fit into our culture's boxes and that you're just uniquely walking out the ever-evolving journey and path that God has called you to walk confidently, with Him. 

Your gifts, those are the signs. His gifts. Each and every gift is an opportunity for God to unfold another layer not just in your life but in others, ultimately pointing them to HIMSELF and His kingdom, for His glory. The lie that we've believed for far too long is that there is a box. We've believed for far too long that ours should look like theirs. The lie that we've believe is that ours needs to look like someone else's. Honestly, where's the fun in that? 

The truth is that He is waiting. Patiently but with certainty that you will hear His voice. Believing that you will  answer the call to express the FREEDOM that you received many years ago on that cross in the way that He created you to express those gifts and bring His glory to each and every one of them. 

This, my friends, is the beautiful dance. It's the loving relationship that we have with our Creator to be free to live the lives that He has called us to live. Full and free. Humbly and boldly. Courageously without apology for who we are. 

You are chosen. You are loved. You are FREE. Free to be who you have been called to be. I'll say it over and over again. Then, again. Christ's sacrifice truly opened up the Heavens for us. Not only did his sacrifice allow for salvation for each and every one of us but it also gave us the amazing ability to trust Him with what He planted in us. It really is an amazing gift, the best of all, I think is that we get to partner with God in amazing ways as we are willing to admit that we really want the crowds to follow Him. In all of His perfectness, in all of His glory, His wonder, his splendor. Every gift points to Him. 


PRAYER OF PRAISE for CREATIVES (and pretty much anyone who lives and breathes) 
Lord, thank you for creating in me the amazing ability to glorify You with the gifts You have placed in me. It's an amazing reciprocation. As I trust You, I experience life as never before. I can be free to express who You have created me to be without anxiety or fear of judgement. I can be FREE to create and to live a big life. All that I do is for You, on Your behalf, for Your glory. 

Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy these gifts, to have fun engaging with others and relating to You; pointing whether intentionally or indirectly, back to You with each and every post, conversation, project. This is all Yours. 

All of this, it really isn't about me at all. Thank You for reminding me when I am too full of myself or when I focus too much on what others are doing or what they have been called to do, that I have been made uniquely to express YOUR character in a way that no one else can. 

You've created an amazing network of women who are meant to build, encourage, empower through each of our gifts, to bring glory to YOU. Thank You for building us up, healing us and empowering us to do just this. Thank You for an ease that comes with this. It's not a burden but a delight. What an honor it is to do this WITH You. 

Amen. 

Deep breath, it's gonna be an amazing week. We're walking with Him, friends. 

xo


Monday, March 30, 2015

MOTIVATED | Embracing the Uniqueness of Your Creative Gifts






I think I've talked enough between here and my various social media outlets about embracing the true you and how much that can shift not only our thinking but our everyday lives so tremendously. 

As creatives we willingly inundate ourselves for the sake of the creative process with images, ideas and conversations that in many ways help us build, grow and become the people we are today and run all of the amazing businesses we have. Conversely, we also run the risk of damaging our own creative souls when we lean too much on others and choose not to trust ourselves and our own creative gifts that we've been given in the process.  

In an Instagram-, Facebook-, and Twitter-filled culture I've found it hard sometimes to embrace my own gifts and really answer the questions, " Who am I?"  and "Does my business truly represent WHO I am?". In the past I feel my "voice" has been lost in the shuffle of competition, trends and fear of rejection from readers or peers. 

Truth is, I don't really know how to be anyone else and I'm sure most of you out there would agree. What I know is that it's really hard to think of what you want to do when you're thinking of how someone else would do it. 

I just think there's something to honing in on your gifts and what you're passionate about and following that with your whole heart. When we can truly embrace what we have and how we express it-uniquely, we will arrive at a place like no other. This place is a space between fear and perfection. It's a space where God can and wants to take the gifts that He has placed in you and use them to reach the hearts of people all over in whatever way you are meant to do that. 

If you're wondering where all of this is coming from,well, if you have followed along here for a while then you know it's really just a sincere passion of mine to empower each of you to confidently walk out your life and calling alongside others. This is a journey I've been on for my entire life but more in the past two years since I lost my mother. I am absolutely passionate about many things in this life. One of them is you and all the amazing things you have to offer this world. 

Anyhow, I thought I'd offer a few realizations I've had as I'm learning to walk out this new life of discovering my own gifts and wholeheartedly embracing them: 

1. My life is my own. My gifts, they are mine too. No one can do me the way I can. I've said this here before but no matter how many artists there are in this world, no one is going to express THEIR art they way YOU do. It's a message worth rehearsing over and over until we all get it.  

2. There can be power or death in the creative community. You choose. You can use your time to compare and tear down your own process by comparing your talents to others or you can collaborate encourage and challenge others to reach higher and achieve more. Build on one another's gifts as though you were building a puzzle. In some way, we all fit together to make a beautiful picture of creativity as a means of opening up new worlds and possibilities to those outside "our" own. That, in and of itself, just may be THE gift. 

3. When we compare, we stifle the process of creativity. We've all heard it time and time again, "Comparison is the thief of joy." I'd go even further to say that not only is it the thief of joy but also the thief of all things creative and good. We really do ourselves no favors at all when we make the decision to look at the processes, work and gifts of others in comparison to our own. 

I honestly started thinking more about this when I was inspired to sit down and work on some upcoming things for the blog. One of those things was an inspirational spring table setting. I was literally stopped in my tracks by the fear that I wasn't good enough or that my table wouldn't look as good as someone else's. Later on the blog this week, I will be sharing my process of how I pulled myself up and reminded myself of why I do this in the first place. What a journey, friends. 

I am so glad that this is a space where I can be honest with each of you and pour out my heart in this way while hopefully inspiring and encouraging each of you to walk more boldly and confidently in your heart and home. 

Happy Monday! xo 





Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wilted Kale, Beet & Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese + Citrus Dressing



Hey guys! I sure hope you are enjoying this Thursday and some of you are enjoying the benefits of all the Spring has to offer. While we've been getting unseasonable whether here lately in the Seattle area, the past few days have been just what you would expect from this gem of a city. Yep, rain. 

So, while this recipe may seem like more of a fall or winter favorite, over in these parts we get the benefits of cooler temps and a winter-like chill much longer than most so soups and salad are on a lot more often than most. 

Keeping that in mind, I've had a hankering for beets lately. To me, this is quite funny seeing as how I remember thinking when I was younger that only old people eat beets. Well, here I am every bit of 36 years old (which is not old at all) and loving this little root veggies all of a sudden. Am I late to the bandwagon? Perhaps. But remember, I pretty much vowed I would never like them and commitments like that take some time to wear off, right? 

So, we all know that as we move into Spring and Summer that salads, at least in my house, are all the rave. They are super easy and quick meals that offer sneaky ways sometimes getting veggies in to the "littles" when you add dressings like the one I'm sharing today. Sweet and tangy, with the beets, this salad offers the refreshing tastes we all love in this season and for a protein punch you could even add salmon or chicken or any other meat of your choice. 



So, let's get to it, shall we? 

Here's what you'll need: 

SALAD INGREDIENTS
Fresh Kale (I used TJ's bagged since I was out of fresh kale)
1 c white quinoa 
3-4 medium to large sized beets
Goat cheese (crumbled)
1 tbs water
Avocado or olive oil 
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse beets, lay them out in foil, tuck tightly, and place on a oven safe pan/tray. 
Place beets in oven and roast for 30-45 until tender. 
Place to the side. 

Cook quinoa according to package directions. 

While your quinoa is cooking, rinse kale and heat a saute' pan to medium heat and toss in kale. 
Toss 1 tsb of water into the pan while the kale is cooking and place a lid on for about 30 secs. 
Kale should just begin to turn a bright green when you remove from pan and still have some crunch.
Remove kale from pan and set aside. 

Once these three ingredients are cool, grab a large bowl and place quinoa and wilted kale inside and toss gently. 

Next, for the beets. I like to use a paper towel or even gloves to hold the beets for this step but you can totally just use your hands, unprotected. The juice from the beets will stain so be sure to wear an apron or crummy clothes. You definitely don't want to wear your favorite white shirt for this job. 

Peel the beets and cut into small cubes. 

Toss beets onto top of salad. If you're preparing this dish for later, you may want to wait until later to toss beets onto the top of the salad as they will also stain the quinoa and the cheese.

Take your goat cheese and a fork and use the fork to crumble the cheese over the top. 


Voila! Salad. 

Now for the dressing...


CITRUS DRESSING

2 tsb avocado or olive oil
1 tsb Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 large orange, juiced 
(You can also substitute 1/2 c fresh squeezed OJ purchased from your local grocer. Trader Joe's has a great selection of fresh squeezed juices)

I like to use Mason jars to make my dressings as you can top it off and shake it up. You can totally use a bowl for this as well. 

Combine above ingredients in jar and shake vigorously until well combined. 

Pour over salad but don't saturate. You may or may not use all of the dressing for the salad. 

Now, it's time to enjoy! 

If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear if you enjoyed it or if you changed it to fit your own personal taste. Either way, I hope you'll give beets a chance like me and try it soon! 

Happiest of Thursdays, friends! xo


Monday, March 23, 2015

MOTIVATED | Weekend Review and a FREE Printable

Hey guys! How was your weekend? I sure hope it was nothing short of amazing! 

I thought I'd pop in to share some internet love from this weekend and remind you about the FREE "Lean In" printable I'm offering here. 

Anyone out there a Pinterest freak? Come on, you can admit it. It's really okay. I mean, weekends are made for adventure and family and friends but let's be honest...a weekend without a few fun pins? I die. Haha! Not really but it sure is fun to be inspired by many of the beautiful images found. 

To my defense, I am working on a client project so I've been pinning some things there for them to be inspired so I had to log on for a bit. Tee, hee! 

Anyhow, here are some of my favorites from this past weekend: 

PHOTOGRAPHY
I was raised, in the South, by a very Southern grandmother and consequently also raised in many ways by lots of her friends who were also older. This picture captured my childhood and warmed my heart in so man ways. I had to pin it. Isn't she absolutely beautiful? So man stories behind those gray hairs and chocolate wrinkles. 

IMAGE SOURCE



TABLETOP
I love a simple table top and this one fit the bill for me. 
Not too over the top but definitely makes a statement with the pods and greens. 

IMAGE SOURCE



FLORALS
Who's not absolutely infatuated with floral design and arranging these days? I know it's quite trendy now but these garden roses and simple fillers expand beyond trend with the classic selection of flowers. I am in love. 

IMAGE SOURCE



 ENTRYWAY
I dream of an expansive entryway where I can achieve a look like this. You don't always need expensive flowers to make a statement in your home. I think this image proves it. Simple wins. 

IMAGE
                       


UPHOLSTERY
And I will always and forever love Chairloom. I've had a love affair with these guys since Restoration House was Pollywog Togs. Yep, a kids' clothing line. I used to sew guys and have always loved fabrics and textiles. If you don't follow them on Pinterest or Instagram you totally should. Prepare to be wowed by their skills with furniture refurb and redesign. 



HAIR
Fully obsessed as well with all things hair these days. Since going completely natural last year, I'm always looking for new ways to create a new look for myself and I am loving turbans these days. Good news..not just for brown girls. These days everyone's sporting them and there's a style for almost every girl. And is she stunning or what?



 TEXTILE
Ya'll. This Serena and Lily Rug is the lick. I mean, it's everything. I mean, isn't it amazing? Haha! I like crossovers and this one fits perfectly into that category. You can dress this bad girl up or down in just about any style or space and make it look fabulous. It also comes in two other colorways. Did I mention that I think it's awesome? 




DIY
Well, of course it's this...the downloadable print that you absolutely need. Why? Well, number one..it's FREE. And, number two...it's FREE. Haha! And it's just cute. And a good trigger for reminding you that you're awesome. So go ahead and download it here. If you didn't get a chance to read through yesterday's post take a sec to read it while you're downloading your printable! If you're having a slow Monday, it will make it better. Promise. 









You may also like:
SUNDAY NIGHT INSPIRATION | LEAN IN.
SUNDAY NIGHT INSPIRATION | CONTINUE
SUNDAY NIGHT INSPIRATION | DON'T STOP DREAMING

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SUNDAY NIGHT INSPIRATION | LEAN IN


If you're local or follow me on Instagram then you'll know that a few weeks back I had the honor of speaking at our church's MOPS group. 

I shared about a journey that I've been on the past few months and how God has (and still is in many ways) brought me to a place of contentment in life and specifically in the area of our home. It's been a long journey filled with unexpected plot twists and missed expectations but I can wholeheartedly say that I'm, for the first time in my life, content with where we are in our lives. 

I remember asking God just a few months back what He was doing. Why did I feel so empty, so still, and, at times, so alone. I'd never really felt this way before. It was a feeling I really couldn't explain but I knew that it was something I'd never experienced. It was at that time that I began to pray and ask God to reveal what this was. 

What I already knew was this: those parts of my heart that had longed for more, longed for an amazing gourmet kitchen with designer fixtures and furniture, those parts of my heart that compared my home to others' and what others had, those voices that whispered a need for perfection had suddenly silenced and I was experiencing a peace that I'd never felt before. 

I'm not really sure what I was doing the day that it dawned on me but I remember the almost audible voice of God letting me know and reminding me of a prayer that I had prayed for a few years now. 

You see, I have a confession. I was born a perfectionist. A visionary of sorts. I've always desired more, wanted more, believed for more. It's my strength. And, consequently, my weakness. I'm sure some of you out there can absolutely relate.

I'd always had a desire for more than I've needed at any given time and have had my fair share of mini tantrums inside when I believed God had failed at answering my requests for the lives we were living. I'd never truly been satisfied with much of anything in my life or the amazingly, abundantly blessed life that we'd lived. It's a harsh truth but it's the life I lived and the struggle I'd owned for years.

In the midst of that internal struggle of my heart, there was another side. There was a side that longed to be free from those feelings of "I don't have enough" and "my home isn't good enough". It was a prayer that I prayed over and over again. "Lord, help me be grateful. Thankful. Help me see the life you have given us through Your eyes. Help me seek Your plan for all of this." 

Sometimes when you pray for something for so long you don't even realize that you're praying. It becomes a heart cry. In the middle of the turmoil, when you're all up in your feelings, when you're struck with despair, your heart rehearses those prayers, those talks, those requests to God and He sweeps in and He answers in ways you could never imagine. 

On that day, when I'd forgotten it all, He reminded me. He reminded me of my prayers and then dropped the bomb on me: my prayer for a content heart had been answered. 

I don't believe for one moment that I couldn't have lived or walked out the contentment I now have long before all the prayers, the tears, the arguments with the hubs about some of the most silly and absurd things. I also don't believe that God is sitting anywhere dangling these desires above our heads like lures and teasing us with when we will or will not receive them. It's just not who He is. 

What I believe is that He just wants us to seek Him, focus on Him, prioritize Him and LEAN IN.

Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Phillippians 4:12

Paul says it so perfectly here, doesn't he? No matter where we are in life, no matter where life takes us or whether we have enough, more than enough, or lack, we can be confident, we can be happy and trust the One who has created us. We can trust the One who created our lives, gives us the breath we breathe. We can trust Him with the homes we live in and the means to make that house a home. We can trust Him with the children that can bring us so much joy and make us wanna pull our hair out in the same moment.

Looking again at the scripture, Paul says that he has LEARNED. But, the truth is that most of us are still LEARNING, right? Myself included.

If you look closely at the word "learning" and you take away the 'R' and the 'G' you're left with "LEAN IN".

In order to learn how to be content. How to be happy. How to walk a more fulfilled life and actually hear God in our lives, we must first lean in.

Picture yourself having a conversation with a friend and perhaps you're having a hard time hearing her. You ask her a few times to repeat herself but seem to still have difficulty clearly understanding the words she is speaking so what do you do? You position yourself a little better, maybe you lift your hand to your ear and...lean in.

With God, it's really no different, is it? Most of the time, however, it's not just so we can HEAR Him better. Sometimes He just wants to hug us a little harder and remind us a little more of who He is and how amazing He knows we are. Sometimes in the middle of that supernatural embrace we capture a glimpse of our past and then our future. He reveals how much He has in store for us. He gives us the freedom, the contentment, the joy, the peace, the grace that we've longed to experience. In Him.

So, what's on your heart? What have you forgotten? What are those prayers that you feel have gone unanswered or maybe you feel as though God stopped listening a long time ago. Can I assure you that He never stops listening to your hearts. He never stops longing for more for you and He always has and knows what best for you but He, before anything else, wants your heart.

I can honestly say that for years I placed so many of these things that I wanted and felt more important before my relationship with my Father, my Daddy, my Creator. Over and over again, even when I didn't know I needed or wanted it, the heart of God called for me to lean into Him.

We make the choice to move forward, to tilt our chest a bit, move our hips and lean in. It's really all He asks for. He does the rest. And in the midst of it all, we experience a life filled with His love and grace and mercy and purpose uniquely fulfilled.

Oh, friends. Today, this week, in our lives...let's LEAN IN. Let's allow the amazing power of God to explore our hearts and search out the broken places beyond just discontentment to reveal a more true life overflowing with Him and what the benefits of just trusting Him has to offer. He didn't say it would be easy, you'll battle for certain but we get to do this together. Hand-in-hand, one day, one blog post at a time.

Excited for our future and this amazing journey ahead, 






If you'd like a visual reminder, feel free to click below and download this FREE 5x7 print to frame or post in your home! Only available for a limited time so grab it now!



http://www.mediafire.com/view/9c12lm4x30ambna/Design-2015-03-10-01-06-21.png



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New blog. New life. New season.



Hey there! 

So I thought I would take just a moment to recap the past year of my life in just a few short paragraphs. Wish this wordy girl, luck. 

I've had a lot of questions from followers on IG and even in person from close friends about how business and life are going and what it is exactly that I'm doing around here on the blog. 

Well, I'm so glad you asked. A few months back. Like, last fall...I really didn't know how to answer some of those questions. 

A couple of years of ago it was pretty simple. I painted furniture plain and simple. Sure, I had a little inspiration post plugged in here and there but this space was mostly dedicated to showcasing furniture makeovers and teaching many of you perhaps how I did it. 

These days it would seem that life is a little more complicated and not as simple as painting furniture. In the past couple of years I've been tossed back and forth in a few different directions. I've gone through tragic loss and healing in the effects of losing my mom but gaining so much more after that loss.

I never imagined that loss would afford me the opportunity to explore my purpose, calling, value, future, hope and trust in the Lord as it did. And the benefit? Well, you're looking it at. 

This new space is not only a visual reminder of all that I've gone through and experienced these past two years but it's a door. A door of opportunity, vision and inspiration. 

In the next few months you'll see a lot more change happening around here. You'll "hear" me speak more about how I got here and receive lots of inspiration for your home and life. There'll be no 5-year plans. Barely a 1-year plan for this blog. I'm just learning how to LEAN IN and trust Him along the way. 

I'm still decorating. I'm still DIYing. I'm still in love with home aesthetics and always looking for ways to challenge myself in those areas. I am honestly in the best place I've been. Ever. And I couldn't be more excited about what the future holds here at RH. I cannot, however, escape or run away from my eternal passion for inspiring and encouraging those around me, whether through my gifts or the truth of the Word. In my world, they merge. Design and faith. One doesn't exist without the other for me. 

What excites me more than anything in the world is getting to take each of you along on this amazing journey! So, who's ready for the ride of your life? I couldn't be any more thrilled to adventure with each and every one of you! 

XO, 
Kennesha



Monday, March 9, 2015

INPSIRE | Not so fresh flowers & working with what I've got




"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." -Arthur Ashe

I'd say that's a pretty good quote for life, eh?

I've had these flowers hanging out here in the house for almost a week...in a bucket of water. A lot of good they'll do my little sould there. but I'd totally forgotten about the fact that I had been so inspired by them a few days back while picking up some other items in the grocery store. 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I LOVE picking up flowers here locally not just from our local floral wranglers but many of Seattle's markets boast more than just your everyday Hydrangea or Carnation. There's always a lot to choose from and on this day, I decided to check the "manager's special" floral section. 

There were three bunches of  Dusty Miller and my favorite, Ranunculus, all for a whopping total of $5.00. Of course, I had to snag them and take 'em  home to make a cute arrangement for our kitchen counter nook. 

It was important then. Apparently not as important as I thought 'cause almost a week went by before I was even able to set my mind on putting them all together. I'm actually amazed that any of them were still alive and although fading, I was determined to make something beautiful out of them. Tell me I'm not the only one whose done this...or makes it a habit? 

Proving, yet again, that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful and that taking what you've got and working with it really works wonders in your home. 

This corner of our kitchen counter top is really the only spot where I use decor in our super small kitchen area. I didn't get a good shot of it for you this time but I'll be sharing more a little later and will give you a few peeks into the area. 

Well, I'm sure you noticed that I added some personality to this lamp of ours. I needed just a bit more and while it's still pretty neutral it adds just enough flavor to suit me.



I will share more on how that came to be later in the week. 

You guys are amazing and I sure hope you've enjoyed this Monday! 

Until the next...xo




Friday, March 6, 2015

Kumquats | A Sad Marmalade Story



This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down...by kumquats. 

I took a trip to our local Trader Joe's last week and couldn't resist picking up a a pint of these little cuties. I mean, look at them. And if you can still find them on the branches, they are even better looking. For the photos, of course, I added my own greenery. 

Anyhow, my first thought was to make a jam of some sort. There was really only one problem...I'd never done it. Being a jam novice was only a small obstacle I'd learn quickly after beginning the process of turning these little citrus cousins into a delectable little treat worthy of a Bon Apetit write-up. Weeeeeeeellll, not exactly. Let's just say I have some work to do. 

I scoured the internet, IG messaged my girl Danielle from Rustic Joyful Food and prayed over the whole process. 

Eh. 

The recipe that I used was pretty straight to the point and simple. The taste of my marmalade was actually pretty awesome. The consistency, however, was way off. 

So, can someone help me out? I keep having flashbacks of my caramel making fiasco during the holidays and I don't think I can stand to go through that type of torment again. 

I wish this post was about how amazing my marmalade/spread turned out and how ridiculously amazing it tastes spread over a cracker or some bread with goat cheese and whatever other accouterments I wanted to add, but alas...not today. 

Today, I sit with a sticky, hot mess that may or may not be on the blog next week if you guys don't give me some suggestions as to how to do this sweet topping some justice. 

So, can you help me out? Leave your expertise below. Trust me, if you know anything about marmalade or jam making...to me, you're an expert. 

And while you're commenting...I'll just be in the kitchen experimenting all weekend and hoping that the next kumquat pics actually have some marmalade in the shot. Yep. *sarcastic sneer*

I sure hope you all are ready to enjoy this amazing weekend ahead of us! xo 








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Monday, March 2, 2015

MOTIVATED | Making a Plan and Sticking to It | How I'm Overcoming Extreme Multitasking {DISORDER}





So let's just go ahead and clear the air and admit it...no one can truly multitask 
My hubby and I have had some really interesting conversations about this topic and what my thought that I actually CAN do this, has resulted in. 

Because I love a project and tackling decor problems around the home, I'm always up to something around here. Being in the rental that we are in now makes it really, really, really...did I say really...hard to decorate much at all around here. I've found myself more than ever, in the short time we've been in our little cottage, hopping from idea to idea, project to project; never really completing much of them at all. 

Gah. That was hard to admit. *deep breath*

But, for all of you out there who are relating to what I just said...you just may have a case of complete Multitasking Disorder. Yes, folks, it's a thing. 

Sure I've set my mind and hands to projects over the years and finished them but as a creative, my brain never stops thinking of the next thing, the next problem to tackle (no matter how much of a problem it really isn't) or next the DIY thing on my list that I need to move on to. 

I could go a few different directions with this but here's where this one sticks for me: CONTENMENT. 

Yep. It's a bomb, I know. At least it was and has been for me the past couple of weeks. 

I am NOT saying that if you love a project and doing lots of things you're not content. Hear me on that, k? 

For me though...a lot of my hopping around from one thing to the other and PERFECTING here and there was a result of never really learning how to take it easy and be content with the way things look or the way our home feels. 

You know just as well as I do that just about every women takes great pride and joy in filling her home with beautiful things and memories. For me, in the past, the way our home looked was way more important than the way it FELT. You know what I mean? 

I love creating, design, and moving things around as much as anyone but when I can't even think straight because I have so many lists and projects on the brain it's time to examine my purpose in getting it all done in the first place. If you've been there, read on. If not, read on anyhow, maybe you'll need to tuck this away for future use or for a friend. :)

So, here are a few crazy decorating, project, get my life out of a tizzy and shoo the anxiety away...tips: 

1. BE CONTENT. Haha! I know. We want some practical application here. I am not sure that I can provide a list of step-by-steps on "how to get content" but I will say this: until you've made a decision to do so, there's no primping, prepping or project in the world that will make your house feel like a home. Take it from me, firsthand. It's the truth. 


2. DON'T COMAPRE. This one is SO hard these days with blogs, social media and more pounding unintentional messages of 'not good enough' down our throats or 'you need more'. Ladies, I KNOW this one is so difficult. How many times have you shifted your little thumb down your feed on IG or Facebook or whatever the platform and found yourself more frustrated and discontent than before you turned on your device after seeing the lives and homes of others you follow? We can all admit that it's happened a time or two. But, here's the truth, you've been gifted with YOUR HOME and YOUR FAMILY and YOUR LIFE and they are wonderfully amazing HOMES, LIVES AND FAMILIES that serve a great purpose in this world and the lives of others. No matter how small or unimportant you may feel your "cause" is, we all have an opportunity to effect change, influence and inspire others no matter how large or small our spheres of influence may be. Don't believe the online hype. You are very important. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. 
I could talk about this one forever but I will instead move on to my last point. 

3. TAKE IT EASY. Take time to enjoy the process. I've said this here and on IG before and I am SURE you've heard it, "It takes time to build a home." Since we all know a home is so much more than aesthetics, what do you say we stop stressing so much about what it looks like and what decor magazines say is beautiful and make our homes our own kind of beautiful? Don't be afraid to express yourself and let your personality shine right through in your decor, trendy or not. In or out. Your home is yours. It should speak your language. 

Okay, loves! Let's get out there and enjoy being who we are, uniquely and enjoy letting our homes express just that as well. Take it one day at a time, one project at a time and enjoy the process of creating a home that you love and that others love as well. 

Love you all so much more than you know...we can SO do this. 

xo,




Thursday, February 26, 2015

ENCOURAGE | GOD IS WITHIN HER





"God is in her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day." Psalm 46;5

Our daughter Kendall has had a really interesting life. Sparing you with all the crazy details, I'll just say she's been confronted one too many times in life, even in her short nine years, with countless opportunities to fear the unknown and expect the worst. Opportunities that we see in looking back that were meant to stifle her and literally suck the life right out of her. 

Time and time again, albeit slowly, we've watched her resiliently bounce back and give situations and life in general a kick in the face. 

Kendall is our only girl. Our princess if you will. but really less Disney and more warrior. While she is the second born and has three brothers I'm beginning to think of her more as she grows older and matures as the gentle giant. Now, she's pretty teeny...although as tall as our oldest, on the inside, she stands high. 

She's always been pretty laid back, peaceful, and chosen her words wisely. Seldom does she  really speaks out of turn, unless she's ready or considers it absolutely necessary. Boy, has she taught me a lot. Being in the house with three boys isn't always the easiest and they know just how to bring the 'best' out of her. 

I always saw some of these traits as weaknesses instead of strengths in her until a couple of years ago when God totally began to convict my heart and show me a different side of my daughter, 

I would catch myself correcting her or giving her suggestions about 'how' to say certain things or how to respond to situations but it never failed-each time I would hear the a small voice prompt me to reevaluate my actions and thoughts. I was encouraged that this was just how God made her yet I hadn't fully grasped all that meant. 

Over the past few months as I've began to allow God to free me in areas of my own life that I've struggled with for some time, my eyes and my heart have truly become open to the amazing treasures we have in the gift of our children. Not only that, we get to watch the destiny of four hearts unfold right in front of our eyes. 

Are there times when we want to hold on and allow fear to control our words, our actions? Absolutely. But, I'll say this...

Our Kendall doesn't fit into a box. Not one. Not even the most uniquely shaped and formed one. 
Somewhere in this parenting thing we (I've realized) have to reach a point where we don't want any boxes for our kiddos. And, if God says, there'll perhaps be no boxes at all. In the case of Kendall, I'm totally okay with that now. 

I love who she is becoming in spite of all of my silly direction from time to time. I know that God is in control and since He's known her way longer than I have I can trust Him with HER life, our boys' and mine as well. God is within her, indeed. I am trusting Him to catch her each and every time she falls. His arms are so much bigger than mine, anyhow.

xo,


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ADVENTURE | A New Look and Heart for Restoration House



Hey guys! 

Well, you've probably already noticed a small change around here and I am SO excited to announce not only a new look but a whole new brand coming your way over the next couple of months. 

In the following weeks, I will continue to make changes to the blog and what Restoration House offers to you as readers altogether. Here are some things you can look forward to in the future:

- More style and inspiration posts from me and new contributors on the blog
- Structured encouraging and inspirational series to help you overcome the obstacles in life that may
   be hindering you from becoming all that you've been called to be
- Occassional food shares and recipes for a healthy lifestyle 
- Entertainment and hospitality styling/inspirational tips and tutorials for the home
- Guest posts from bloggers you know and love
- Lots and lots of laughs and fun as we, together, learn how to live beautifully from the inside, out! 


So, what do you think? Are you ready to take on this new adventure with me? I am really excited about all the things ahead and even more thrilled to take this on with each of you! I just know you're going to love some of the things we have in store! And I must say, that I am excited to watch some real dreams I've had for a well, a really long time, unfold. 

Please take a moment to SUBSCRIBE just below on the right sidebar ("SUBSCRIBE"). Just enter your email address and confirm your subscription. It's that easy! 

Hey, and what do you think of the new clean and fresh design? I kinda love it! While I am still working out a few kinks I really am pleased with the final results here.

I think I should also take a moment to say thank you to all of you who have followed along for a while and those who are new around here. I am looking forward to connecting and "meeting" each one of you! You make life rich! Truly, you do. 

Sure hope you're enjoying this wonderful Wednesday! 


All the best and cheers to this amazing future of ours, 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

INSPIRE | Cozy Eclectic Sitting Area with Chairish.com

Cozy Eclectic Sitting Area


How fun is this little sitting area using lots of natural linens, neutral colors and some fun vintage finds from Chairish.com?

I started out with the vintage Moroccan rug that anchored the space and let everything flow from there. 

While I love neutrals, I am a sucker for batik and vintage patterns and fabrics so adding the indigo and the Peruvian striped pillows for a bit of  a color punch just seemed right to me. 

This sitting area has just about everything I love. From the subtle farmhouse touches to the clean, simple industrial touches I who wouldn't want to cozy up with a good friend or a good book and settle in for a while. 

This is just a small example of why I will always choose neutrals as a base for just about any room if I can. It's just so easy to go any direction or add color to spaces when done the right way! You can see more amazing rugs (and all sorts of other amazing items for your home) from Chairish on their site and start getting inspired to spruce up your own little space too! 

I sure hope you guys are having a fun filled Friday! We're looking forward to a great weekend here with family! 

Happy Friday, loves...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Curry Chicken Soup with Kale + Rice



Happy Friday, friends! 

I thought it would be fun to share a super quick recipe today as we creep into the weekend. 
I'm not sure about you guys but I have been making my fair share of soups and stews the past few weeks around here. The cold weather tends to encourage that. 

A couple of days ago I had the hankering for curry chicken. I also wanted kale and couscous. 

Wonderful combination of cravings, I know. 

I then had the bright idea that I could just turn those cravings into a one-pot dish. 

After sifting through internet search engines and Pinterest I didn't find one recipe that fit my craving, so I did what anyone would do-I made it up. 

Unfortunately, because I wasn't sure how this would turn out, I don't have a ton of amazing photos but it's pretty simple to make and I will detail as best as I can here. Are ya ready? Here we go...


INGREDIENTS

1-2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups of Jasmine rice
1 bunch of fresh kale
2-3 tbs of fresh minced ginger
2 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs turmeric
1 tbs curry 
1 tbs cumin
Salt to taste
Maya Kaimal Kashmiri Curry Simmer Sauce (or another brand-can order this on AMAZON)
4-6 c organic chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk
2 tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
Red Pepper Flakes or Chili Paste (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT ROCK

Mix Curry, cumin, salt, turmeric and garlic powder together in a small bowl.
Apply as a dry rub to chicken making sure to coat every bit of the meat. 
Pour olive oil in stock pot and heat to medium.
Add diced onions. 
When pot is hot, add chicken and brown seasoned chicken in stock pot. 
Once meat is browned on both sides, pour in chicken stock.
Allow stock to come to a boil. 
Once boiling, add Jasmine rice and the simmer sauce and cover until rice is just tender. 
Add coconut milk and kale. 

At this point, you may want to add more cumin, or curry depending on how intense you want the flavor. Since I was making this for our whole family and our kids aren't fans of spicy (and neither am I) this was a more mild curry. If you'd like it a little more spicy, you can add red pepper flakes as well as chili paste.

Simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes. 

Once you have allowed your soup to simmer and all the ingredients have combined give it a taste. You may need to add more seasoning, salt, etc. to accommodate your taste. Don't be afraid to add if you need to! 

Enjoy! 



This made a lot for us and we've been chomping on it for a few days now! It's so yummy. 

I'd love to hear if you try it this weekend! 

Sure hope you guys have some fun things planned and we'll see you back here next week for some exciting announcements and fun changes just around the corner for RHI! 



XO,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

INSPIRE | Homemade Holiday DIY Tour | DIY Wooden Chalkboard Ornament






Hey friends! 



Welcome back to another day of DIY for the Homemade Holiday DIY Tour! 

Each day this week so far I've shared a bit of handmade goodness as I decorate around our home for the holidays. 

Today, I am sharing our DIY wooden chalkboard ornaments. What I love about these is that they are great for the holidays but the fun with these cute little spheres is that the fun doesn't end with Christmas! These will make great gift tags or even fun garland for your home!  

I purchased most of my supplies from our local Ben Franklin Crafts Store but I am sure you could pick up most of this from Michael's or online at Save on Crafts as well! 

Let's begin the how-to, shall we?

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Wooden Cuts in shape of your choice ( I used a total of 20 on our tree)
Twine
Drill
Chalkboard paint in color of your choice (I chose black)
Paint Brush
Soapstone or Chalk





HOW TO MAKE IT:
1. Take your wooden cut and paintbrush and paint the chalkboard paint onto the piece. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. That's kinda the point of making it all yourself!

2. Once your paint has dried use your drill ( I used a 1/8" bit) to drill a hole in the top of the wood. This is where you will thread your twine to hang your ornament.

3. Once you've made the hole, cut a piece of twine about 8 inches long and thread it through the hole.

4. Use your chalk or soapstone to get a little artistic on each ornament. You can write a family name, draw some wreaths, or go beyond the holidays with your art!

5. Voila! You're done!

Now, THAT may be the easiest project yet!





I sure hope you all enjoyed today's project! Come back tomorrow for more fun as we close out with a full tour of our tree and little spaces in our home! 

Happiest of Wednesdays, loves! 

 

design + development by kelly christine studio