Mini Home Office Makeover

A couple of years ago, we turned our rarely used formal dining room into a home office. It’s where I write and do Mercy House. Lo, that office has seen a lot of sweet tea.

Originally, I chose the red and black colors based on the old dining room. I basically coordinated everything with the wall color and existing curtains. It’s been great, but I’ve been wanting to lighten the whole darkish room up for awhile.

With a bit of tax return, the room was repainted and a few changes were made. I love the warm, relaxing feel. This is probably one of the most used rooms in our house. My kids do a lot of homework at the desk and it’s a popular reading spot.



What I changed:

  • Wall color-I love the relaxing two tone shades of beige and tan.
  • Window treatments-did you know Lowe’s carries extra long drapes?
  • Rug-I switched the rugs from my family room and office
  • Chair slipcover from Ikea
  • Desk skirt and chair covers are a pair of window panels from Walmart (attached to desk with velcro, chair with staple gun)
  • I added touches of my Dayspring Ever Grateful dishes from the cupboards to the white china
  • Replaced cardboard storage boxes (that were falling apart) with a Set of 6 Foldable Fabric Baskets, Beige
    (and wicker baskets from around the house)
  • Moved the  kid’s old “bookshelf” (old shoe drying rack) from another part of the house, so my kids can read in my chair.
  • I’ll tell you all about the Abide art above my comfy chair tomorrow!

WFMW: Totsy

I’m a big fan of The Discount.

I fell in love with Totsy during the fall of 2012. It all started when my oldest daughter entered the sixth grade and discovered fashion.

{insert dramatic pause}

If you have a tween or teen daughter, you understand the significance of this statement.

To me, Totsy is the perfect place to shop deeply discounted name brand items for the entire family. We’ve scored winter boots for less than $15 a pair and cute, cute top and legging sets for my little one who refuses any kind of denim. And look at my oldest daughter’s darling top we got for just a few dollars…

Her winter coat? It was 90% off and I bought it a little big for me to wear  for her to grow in to.

I’ve had nothing but great experiences with them! I buy nearly everything online these days and Totsy is in my top choices for apparel!

Here’s how it works:

  • Totsy is completely free to join
  • Email is required
  • Receive daily deal emails
  • Click and shop
  • First time buyers get free shipping and a tree is planted with your first purchase!
  • Often there are clothes, shoes, toys, books, plus more for the entire family up to 90% off!
  • Refer friends and earn Totsy credits!
So, if you’re looking for a great place to get discounts on awesome brands, click to sign up at Totsy.

*I am using my referral link in this post and  receiving Totsy credit for this review–I’m sure I will end up being talked out of by said tween.

Coming soon: That Works For Me! Tried & True Tips from Works For Me Wednesday

On Community {Announcing (in)RL}

[Today, I’m rounding up a month of blog posts from the (in)courage girls, a progressive blog party, so to speak. Melissa of The Inspired Room tagged me.]

Community has hurt me.

I have been wounded by gossiping women, friends who questioned our choices and walked away when they couldn’t dream with us.

When I started blogging four years ago, I was drawn in by the community. It felt like a safe place where I could interact, but still guard my heart.

Little did I know, God would use this community of strangers to heal me.

When I didn’t have a lot of real life people to count on, I had you. Not only did you dream with me, you jumped with me into the unknown. You are a huge part of this. You are a huge part of me.

God used my pain from community wounds to show me that community would also heal me.

In the last year and a half, He’s surrounded us with real life community. Friends who listen, support, serve along side of us.

Lately our family has felt maxed out: running Mercy House, working jobs, loving our kids. But our real life church community has stepped in and held up our arms. We are surrounded by our online community and supported by our real life community.

It’s a breathtaking place to be.

I think that’s why I’m such a huge advocate of (in)courage’s initiative to foster real community right where you are. It’s called (in)RL and it was created for you.

My online and real life friend, Lisa-Jo, explains it best:

So basically, (in) RL kicks off with a webcast for everyone to watch in their living rooms Friday, April 27 and then  a dedicated day of (in)courage meetups on Saturday, April 28- imagine little beach house parties – all around the country and globe and a webcast for everyone to tune into. A local meetup on a global scale; friends will gather to watch live webcasts of (in)courage contributors and community, connect with one another, and discover new friendships they didn’t know were right around the corner!

Want to sign up? It’s simple: register here (it’s $10 and you get a t-shirt and card pack –  awesome deal!) and then sign up here to host or attend an (in)RL beach house party.

Hosts also have the opportunity to purchase specially discounted beach houses in a box, which are chock full of amazing DaySpring products.

Don’t let your community wounds stop you from discovering the most meaningful community you’ve ever known. 

Confidant Mom Planner {Giveaway}

UPDATED with WINNERS:  Mandy S. (comment 24), Cindy (comment 31), Karla (comment 48), Stephanie (comment 75), Amanda (comment 93), Lorrie Clark (comment 104)

Let’s face it: some days, I don’t just manage my home, I run a company! I’m balancing the budget, hiring home repair, firing off orders to my minions (I mean children) and getting along with co-workers (also known as my husband). As the CEO of this house, I’m always looking for ways to run things smoother. I think I found it!

Just released from Susan Heid at The Confident Mom, the 2012 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner will make completing your daily and weekly household chores a snap! This planner helps keep you on task and productive by utilizing those “in between” moments to complete your household tasks so they don’t build up to become large and overwhelming.

Most of the items can easily be completed in 3 to 30 minutes, and you can select appropriate items to delegate to family members. (Hey, no one said YOU had to do it all!) And nothing feels better than being able to check off those items as DONE!

Here’s a sample of the types of tasks you will find in this planner:

  • Plan/cook dinner
  • Make beds
  • Clean out expired food in pantry
  • Water indoor plants
  • Clean bathrooms sinks/shine mirrors
  • Wash car
  • Pay bills due
  • Pamper yourself
  • Plan cards/gifts for January birthdays/occasions
  • Quiet Time (Gen 4-6) (Note: A version without the Bible study is also available)

You can even personalize the planner by adding special weekly tasks or notes to remember. A fun or inspirational quote is featured each week to remind you about the joys, and sometimes humor, of family and motherhood.

This helpful planner created for and by a mom is only $9!  And you can get $1 off until March 1 – with coupon code:  WER1

Today, I’m giving away 6 copies of the Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner!

Please make me feel better about my disorganization and let me know in the comments how badly you need this planner :) as your entry.

This giveaway will close on Thursday.

(If you buy the planner and are lucky enough to win it, you will be fully reimbursed!)


                                                             Source: via Susan on Pinterest

God wrote the verse on my heart two years ago this week.

The etching was painful.

The living it out, excrutiating.

Even though I wouldn’t have chosen this path, I wouldn’t trade it now for anything.

My outside now matches what’s inside.

I am branded:

I am turning off comments on this post because I don’t wish to stir up controversy with my very personal choice to mark this anniversary in this way.

You Will Be Disappointed In Me

The words hurt, cut like a knife.

My heart beat outside of my chest as I let her cloud of disappointment cover me.

Hurting people hurt people. She felt like I let her down and so she let me down. The accusations still ring.

This online space is a tricky place. I’ve spent four years confessing my struggles, trying to find joy in the moment, hoping to inspire the people who spend their time here. It’s not something I take lightly, you reading my words.

I’m reminded daily that God created something adequate out of this space and out of inadequate me. I need you to keep dreaming with me.

But I’ve always tried to be transparent. And in the last month, I’ve received a couple of emails and comments from a few people on different subjects, but all feeling like I’d let them down in some way. Oh, I get people and their opinions and it’s certainly not the first time I’ve had people disagree with me.

Somewhere along the way, some people got into their minds that I’m someone to look up to. You can only look up to people you place on a pedestal. The rest of us are eye to eye, trying to carve out what God wants to accomplish in and through us.

I don’t belong on a pedestal. Most days I find myself under it.

I’m not always a great wife or an awesome mom. I have really hard days just like you. I don’t always share the horrible moments because I’m flesh trying to live this out, messing up more than I can say.

But I am convinced that if you look up to me you will be disappointed.

You might not like that I lose it with my kiddos, nag my hubby, don’t use recycled bags or cook organic. You might be disappointed that when it gets really hard, I think about quitting (everything). You might be shocked at my discipline methods, thinking they are too strict or too lenient.

The bottom line: you will be disappointed in me.

And that’s why I do my best to point you to Him. Because He will never disappoint you.

There is Charity in All of Us

She came to us alone, with a baby she didn’t want stirring in her womb.

Orphaned at a young age, she wandered this earth unloved and unwanted.

Charity came to us broken, detached, angry.

Outwardly she pushed others away, isolating herself through pain, distancing her heart from love.

But we loved her anyway. We set firm boundaries and we loved. We prayed. We fasted. We begged God to draw her close. We shed so many tears over this child having a child.

We feared for her unborn son. How would this detached girl attach to a baby she never wanted?

He was born to an angry mother. She didn’t want him.

And we didn’t know what to do. 

We prayed harder. Loved more fiercely. Forced her to hold him, feed him. Every moment hard.

We willed her to show charity to her precious new miracle rescued from abortion.

And we reminded ourselves again and again that we aren’t the rescuers.

Only God.

Today, we catch her cooing at her chubby son. Smiling down on him. Visitors don’t know the miracle they witness. Our hearts catch in our throats with each tenderness because we remember. We know that only God can heal a barren soul.

I am broken. I am angry. I am orphaned, needing to be adopted by God.

God used Charity’s pain to heal a part of me.

“Jesus brings about my own healing by bringing me into someone else’s.” -Kisses from Katy.

There is a bit of charity in all of us.

God is here.

WFMW: Store Your Boots

I read this tip in a magazine and thought it was brilliant. I rolled up the magazine and inserted it into my boot! It’s so simple and keeps my boots from doing this:

and makes them do this:

It works for me!