Monday, November 25, 2013

Clean Eating Thanksgiving Recipes

Happy Monday loves!  Only three more sleeps until Turkey Day - are you ready yet?  Just in case you're still working on your Thanksgiving menu (and still have to brave the stores), here are some recipes that are perfect for the holiday and good for you as well!

For a savory soup, try this Spiced Butternut Squash soup from the Gracious Pantry.

Oh Hopscotch!'s Pumpkin Butter would be delicious on some freshly baked bread.

And for you pie lovers...

Clean Pecan Pie from the Gracious Pantry.

Clean Cherry Pie from the Gracious Pantry.

and.... of course Pumpkin Pie, from the Everything Soap Blog.

The Gracious Pantry blog is dedicated to all things clean eats, and she has an entire section devoted to delicious clean Thanksgiving recipes - head on over to check out more ideas!

Have fun preparing for your feast (and for all of you who still have to go shopping... bless your hearts!)!

Friday, November 22, 2013

New IKEA chair and Goings On

Things have been buzzin around the home.made. abode… I’m still in the process of revamping our living room, and I’m so happy with the latest addition to our furniture: this IKEA BYHOLMA wicker chair!

home.made. IKEA chair

My awesome sister was kind enough to make a trip to IKEA and pick this up for me (since you can’t order online) as I have been kicking myself for not getting it a couple of months ago.

I love this chair.  It’s gorgeous and it adds such a fun mix to my living room furniture.  The cushion and the pillow make it a comfortable spot to curl up – it’ll be even better tomorrow when I’ve got a fire going in the fireplace (thank you cold front!)

The living room makeover is still underway and there’s just a little bit more to do before the full reveal:

Paint Trim

Haul Piano from my Dad’s House

Add Bookcase

Add corner chair

Add wall art

Find round, smaller coffee table

See, doesn’t sound so bad, right?  If any of you have great tips about moving pianos, let me know please!  I don’t want to fork out a lot of money to pay for movers!!

Some other things that have been keeping me busy around here:

I spent a lot of time the past couple of weeks repainting my laundry room cabinets.  If you follow me on Instagram, you were able to see some progress pics.  I’m happy to say they’re finished and hanging and such an improvement – I can’t wait to show you!

I’m also busy prepping to have a booth at an upcoming Christmas event.  It was a last minute decision to do this (and personally, I’m a little intimidated by it) so I’m in mad-crafting mode trying to put together some fun items for my booth.  I have so many ideas that it’s been a challenge to keep my focus small, but I’m trying…

So much going on!  I can’t believe Thanksgiving will be here next week… you for sure wouldn’t be able to tell around here since the only decoration for the occasion are the turkey pumpkins my kiddos decorated for the mantle.  I’ll admit it – I’m a slacker for Thanksgiving this year.  All of the other projects have taken priority and since I’m lucky enough to not have to host Turkey day… I’m not very motivated to decorate.  Heck, I might just even put up my Christmas stuff early this weekend… I’m a rebel like that.

IKEA chair

Here’s one final look at that chair for ya… and as if I don’t have enough to do I’m thinking of painting that armoire in the background.  Off white would be good, yes?

Hope you’re having a great Friday – make it a great one!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turquoise Desk Makeover for Little Girl

My youngest daughter has longed for a desk in her room ever since I did the Green Desk Makeover for her older sister.  Many months and Craigslist searches later, I was finally able to find a desk that fit my daughter and her room perfectly.  A little bit of elbow grease and some Annie Sloan Provence chalk paint later… and we have a turquoise desk for my litte girl.

Turquoise Desk Redo

This desk was listed on Craigslist but was actually housed in a multi-vendor antique mall, buried under all sorts of other vintage treasures.  It’s a Bassett desk from the 1960s and was in great condition, save for some damage to the desktop and some scratches.


I’ll admit it… this desk had me at spindle legs.

Seriously, aren’t they incredible?

After sanding the top and cleaning it well, I painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Provence, a gorgeous turquoise blue color that I have used on multiple projects in my home.  My youngest really likes to help mama with projects, especially painting, so I gave her a brush and her own tray of paint and let her go to town.  Chalk paint is very forgiving because you can sand it, so it was the perfect medium for my little’s brush strokes – any imperfections were simply sanded away before the top coat.

Provence Desk Makeover

The hardware is all original to the piece and was in perfect condition as well.  I liked the contrast of the bronze and blue so I just gave it all a good cleaning before I reinstalled it. 

Turquoise Desk Closeup

The spindle legs are still my favorite feature – it’s unusual to find a piece such a traditional piece with this type of leg.  (Please excuse the focus on these photos… my eight year old Canon rebel is starting to act up on me.)

Little Girl's Desk Makeover

Here’s another view of the turquoise desk in its entirety.  Tell me those legs aren’t incredible!  Pair it with a pink chevron wall and I’m smitten ;).

The desk actually has a coordinating hutch (see below) that goes on top but it felt a little too serious (especially with the eagle medallion) so I haven’t yet painted it.  I do like the additional storage it offers so maybe one day I’ll add it, but for now I’m happy with the desk as is.


My youngest is very excited for this new homework space in her room.  We’re still working on adding little desk accessories, but she’s already enjoying it for reading, writing, drawing and creating.  I imagine it will see lots of this activity in the years to come.

Little's Girl's Room Turquoise Desk

If you have any questions about the turquoise desk makeover, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer your questions!

Have you tried chalk paint yet?  Would you be brave enough to let your child help you with it?  I’d love to hear your experience!

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Sharing here:

Whipperberry Party Bunch

Inspire Me Please Party

Miss Mustard Seed

Inspiration Gallery

Jennifer Rizzo

Link Party Palooza

Show and Tell Saturday

Three Mango Seeds

Tuesday’s Treasures

Monday, November 4, 2013

{Organization} Family Command Center

Life is busy.  Between kids’ events, work schedules, activities, parties, and the rest of the social calendar, it can sometimes be hard to keep everything straight.  Today I’m sharing our Family Command Center, which has really helped us organize our schedules and keep our family running smoothly.

Family Calendar Wall

The Command Center is located in the hallway between our laundry room and kitchen.  It’s an area we pass through multiple times throughout the day so it’s perfect as far as convenience.  It’s also an area that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, so bear with me on the photos…

Family Organization Wall

The wall calendar is the Daily System from Pottery Barn.  I tried finding separate pieces to put together this same type of unit, but I really liked the look and versatility of the Daily System so I ultimately decided to purchase it.  I waited until these were on sale and then used a 15% off coupon and was able to get these for a great price.  Right now I have the corkboard, wall pocket, and magnetic dry erase calendar and I’ll probably add more pieces soon in place of the chalkboards.

The small chalkboards are the plain slate kind that you can get at any crafts store.  The larger chalkboard was a magnetic memo board that I painted with chalk paint; I painted all of the borders with Duck Egg Blue chalk paint so they would coordinate.

The small chalkboards are my girls’ list of daily chores.  I’ve recently had them start sweeping their rooms weekly so my youngest added “swiffer” to her list.  A girl after my own heart…

Organized Family Calendar

The corkboard holds school menus and announcements and the pockets hold my and Mr. home.made.’s mail until we have a chance to look at it.

Family Calendar

And the piece de resistance… the color-coded family calendar.

Yes, you read that correctly.  For all you doubters… try it and see what a difference it makes.  Once everyone gets used to their designated color (it will take a little bit of training), it’s so easy for them to look at the calendar and see what’s happening that week for them.

Now we all know when daddy works, what time practices and games are scheduled, and of course… when there is a holiday or school break.  (Illustrations are optional :))

I fill out this calendar at the beginning of every month and then double check the coming week each Sunday just in case something has changed or was added to our schedule.  Since implementing this, our little party of four is pretty much on the same page every week and heck, we even manage to be on time too!

Have you implemented a Family Command Center or something similar and had success with it?  I don’t know what I’d do without mine!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Life after Mother Loss

It is November 1st, and it marks the thirteenth year since I lost my mom.

I know there are some of you who think… it’s been thirteen years.  Shouldn’t you be over your grief by now?  I know this because I’ve heard it.  The answer to that though, is no.  No, I’m not done grieving.  No, I’m not over it and I probably  never will be.

And I’m okay being transparent and admitting that to you, because I know that someone, somewhere, is going through this too and that maybe, like me, she’s just in need of knowing that she’s not alone and that life, no matter how difficult, does go on.

One of the sayings that I heard over and over in the days after my mother’s death is that “it’ll get easier with time”.  At the time, I thought… what a load of crap and, hey, screw you and your so-called sympathy.  How could it get easier without her?  All these years later I can say that while it seems easier, the reality is that is simply just less all-encompassing.  Life is really good at filling in all of the moments in your life that were once consumed with sadness.

  But when the grief returns… it’s as fresh as it was on day one.



Like a ton of bricks.

Different, but not easier.

You want to know what else?  Grief is ever-evolving after mother loss, especially if you are a woman, because you’re not just mourning the loss of your mother over and over again.  You’re mourning the wedding dress she never saw you try on. You’re mourning the pregnancies you didn’t get to call and tell her about.  You’re mourning the grandchildren she never got to know, and the grandmother your children will never know except for stories and pictures.  You’re mourning the little things like going Black Friday shopping with her, and calling her to get a recipe or asking for advice.  You’re mourning all of the wonderful roles that a mother is supposed to play in the life of her daughter.

I’m mourning not only the loss of a mother, but the loss of being a daughter.

My mother can’t call me to say Happy Birthday.  My mother can’t watch my children for me when I’m sick.  My mother can’t wrap Christmas gifts with me.  My mother can’t be my mother.  I didn’t stop being a daughter because my  mother died, but without her… sometimes I don’t feel like a daughter at all.  I grieve for what is past and moreso for what I feel should have been the future.

And as for what is present… life goes on.  I went with my sister to try on my wedding dress and I married my best friend.  I traveled the country and then settled down and had two beautiful daughters, one of whom has a namesake to my mom and one whose eyes are her same shade of grey-blue.  I have bad days, where the void in my heart leaves me wallowing in grief, but those are far outnumbered by the good days, filled with life and love and memories.  I have faith that the Lord does not long for my heart to be troubled.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thirteen years, just like that.

I hope that if your heart is hurting because of mother loss, that this post will find you and let you know you’re not alone and that grief does not come with a pre-determined timeline nor is it experienced by everyone the same way.  It does not come with a manual on “getting over it”.  It’s okay if you never do.

There will be some really great days.  There will be really rough days.

Life will go on, and will be better because she was once in it.

10-16-51 --- 11-1-00


Related Posts with Thumbnails