📚Book Review! ✨ A Court of Silver Flames
Alright let’s talk A Court of Silver Flames! First off, this is NOT a YA book, the entire series has been rebranded as ADULT fantasy (which I somehow missed so my apologies!!) and lemme tell ya, the spice level is absolutely indicative of this new branding 😂😂🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 But that aside, Nesta’s story is about healing. Healing relationships, healing a broken world and most importantly, healing yourself. Nesta’s journey is one through abuse, trauma, and self worth issues.
I loved this book. The storyline grabbed me and never let go, though I will say for MY personal taste, the spice was a bit more than I was ok with BUT I still loved it. Feyre is still my favorite but Nesta holds a special place in my heart and now I want an Elain storyline. These Archeron sisters are just the best.
Book review ✨✨✨ The Island at the End of Everything
It’s the early 1900s in the Philippines and Ami and her mother live together on Culion Island - a refuge for lepers and their children. When a government agent comes and takes away all the “clean” people from the island Ami is separated from her mother and taken to another place. Once there she befriends other children desperate to get back to their own families. They begin on a journey through island jungles, across the ocean, and discover their own strength through it all.
This was a heartbreakingly beautiful story. The circumstances and real history that happened are tragic. But the metaphors and lessons learned are beautiful and long lasting. Be prepared for triggers of racism, abuse, and mental health issues.
Add The Island at the End of Everything to your shelves for a story of love, forgiveness and beauty.
Book review ✨✨✨The Ninth House
(Galaxy) Alex Stern is not a normal girl. She can see the Greys in the world. When she's approached by Lethe House in New Haven to become a student and thus help them keep bad magic at bay. When her mentor goes missing though her world is turned upside down and she has to decide whom she is really going to be and what part she was going to play in it.
I only gave this a 4 star because it took me a bit to get into it. It's a rich story but also has some triggering things like abuse, drug use and language. Once the story picked up for me I was hooked and I am excited for there to be a sequel to come in the future!
Book review ✨✨✨ The Throne of Glass series
We follow Celeana Sardothein in her journey to figure out who she is and what her destiny really is in the world. Her story is all encompassing and deals with trauma, grief, loss, love, healing, and beauty in the good in the world. The spice level is about 🔥🔥🔥/5
This series Is my favorite of Sarah J Maas. Reading the 8 books changed my life for the better. It's the perfect series for fantasy fans. The relationships are explored in such a beautiful way that promotes healthy boundaries and trust and it just made me so happy!
Beautiful alternate dust jackets from NerdyInk
All books I've read thus far this year are in my Amazon Store page!
Since we moved into this house almost two years ago I knew I wanted a specific functionality in the office upstairs.I had dreams of cabinets and counters or rainbow murals or so many others. What we ended up doing was even better and honestly way easier for us to manage do it ourselves!
Here is what the room looked like until we changed it - almost two full years and this functioned just fine until Andrew started working from home when the pandemic hit. He took over the desk where my computer is in these pictures, and then I moved to the smaller silver desk on the side wall. I was more than happy to give it up since we are so fortunate to still have this wonderful job throughout this pandemic. The dresser held my vinyl both adhesive and heat transfer plus the bottom drawer held all the sample shirts for my small business. I used the furniture we had to make the office functional and as I said, it was time for a change for both function and happiness!
First thing we needed to do was paint and put up the shelves I wanted. We used MDF board from Lowes and the brackets are from Amazon. Putting up the shelves was QUITE the feat! We got the brackets up on the wall, using the screws included with the brackets (see where this is going yet?) and as we tried to screw the board to the brackets, it came crashing down on our heads and ripped all but one bracket from the wall ouch! BUT we then went to the hardware store and got way better screws and then redid the brackets, and it worked! I pulled out all the trinkets I'd been saving in closets and boxes. My favorite things are the Disney ear hats I procured while working at Disneyland, my Holocrons from Batuu, the unicorn and rainbow lights! I love these shelves so much and Andrew has some things he's going to add to his side to make them a bit more HIM hahaha
We also added RGB lightstrips to the bottom of the shelves to light up the room with fun!!
The next place we needed to go was Ikea. We got Alex drawers (1 & 2) and Ekbacken countertops! The initial colors I was looking for weren't available, but according to the website (and the worker upstairs IN the Ikea) none of the office stuff was in stock in my store. We decided to check the bins downstairs regardless since we had driven so far (Our IKEA is about an hour away from our house so we don't go often). The plan was white drawers and wooden countertops for the desk and once we got downstairs we found white drawers of one of the types I wanted BUT not the others. Eventually we found that they had the drawers in both style in the same grey-turquoise color (which isn't even advertised online as an option!) and I was like - let's do this thing! The countertop we initially wanted was also out of stock BUT they had one that looked like white marble which would be perfect against the teal in the room so we grabbed it and I got excited! NOTE: the drawers are not the same size in any way, so if you decide you like this idea, measure everything for your space!!! The wider drawers are much shorter AND not as deep so be ready for that.
We got the drawers put together and after a quick online look at the hardware store for a platform type thing for the shorter wider drawers, we landed on pavers hahaha The original plan was wood but they couldn't cut what we wanted so Andrew found the pavers for .50 a piece and I was like "YEP! Let's get it done!" The drawers came with casters but since we already knew they were going to be short, we didn't want the wheels making our lives harder to find a way to raise them up. The rug is from Home Depot and I thought I had gotten the bigger size so oops - I'll be ordering it soon hahaha then this one will go somewhere else to light up a room!
Next was organizing everything that was already in the room and everything we had taken out. And we had to find homes for the furniture we were no longer using! The desk we decided to give to the girls as an official art station in their play room. This way they have a dedicated space and hopefully one place to keep all the craft crap to vs all over my house hahahaha The silver desk I had been using went to Rory and she was BEYOND thrilled that she now has a grown up desk, she's still not doing homework in her room (I don't think she's quite ready for that step yet) but she journals there and reads her books there when she wants to.
The closet was in desperate need of help. I had just been chucking stuff in there willy nilly, knowing I would "get to it later" and then forget immediately forget about it. So I emptied it, and emptied the dresser that held my sample shirts so I could have them all up and seen! It's going to make my business run so much smoother knowing what samples I have currently, and to actually SEE the colors! I added spacers between the sizes so I can find them easier too. This closet also holds all of my photography equipment and backdrops, our electrical cords/software boxes, gift wrapping supplies, extra backpacks, and my Disneyland backpack. It's a mish mosh of stuff but now I know where everything is!
I have a bit of a sticker problem and I just love them so much! I wanted to have them out and displayed so I could enjoy all the art that these stickers are! To me, they're like pins - little works of art people put lots of work into.
Now for what you've all been waiting for - the grand reveal!
And there it is! Our shared office space and it works really well for both of us now. This office was first only for me when we moved in but with the pandemic, Andrew now gets to share it and have a dedicated space for when/if he continues working from home!
Artwork on the walls from the AMAZINGLY talented artist Christian Wizyakuza
Halfway through February and I thought I should recap my books so far this year! My goal is to read 50 new to me books, not counting rereads (currently in a reread of A Court of Thorns and Roses in prep for A Court of Silver Flames coming next week!!). I'm excited to go over some of them in detail with you here! And as always, my IG has the book reviews a lot faster than I will here so you've been warned hahaha
I will link to each book from Amazon as well ;)
Dust by Kara Swanson
Claire knows Peter Pan is just a character in a storybook. He’s also the reason her brother was taken from her so long ago. Now she has a lead on his location; it’s in the one place she doesn’t want to go - London, where the stupid fairy tale takes place.
Peter has to get back to Neverland. He has to fix what he’s broken and the key to getting back is the girl with pixie dust in her veins, the sister of a friend that he is desperate to find.
This story is a wonderful retelling of Peter Pan. It delves into loss, grief, Neverland lore, the Darlings and so much more! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the sequel, Shadow to come out this summer!
Add Dust (and preorder Shadow) to your shelves if you like stories about faith, trust, and pixie dust.
Children of Blood and Bone & Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi: Zelie and Tzain’s mother was killed in The Raid by the monarchy and all maji live in fear of losing their own lives even with magic gone from Orisha. But Zelie has inherited her mother’s gifts and wants magic back to win the kingdom for her people. Amari has always been kept in the palace to play the perfect princess, but when her beloved Binta is slain in front of her very eyes after being forced to use magic by the king, Amari steals the ancient magical artifact and runs away to find a way to bring magic back to make things right. Inan is the crown prince. He has been taught Duty before Self and that Orisha waits for no one. But when Inan ends up becoming a maji, he has to learn how to control the magic now flowing through his veins before it kills him. These 4 are the key to restoring magic and order to their kingdom, and the gods have set them on quite the incredible journey.
I loved these books! I’ll admit it took a little time to get into the first one but once I was hooked I couldn’t stop reading! This world is rich with the culture inspired by West African tribes and it’s just beautiful. I will warn that there is some physical torture and emotional abuse in these books as well. But I’m eagerly awaiting book 3 whenever it comes out!
Add Children of Blood and Bone & Children of Virtue and Vengeance to your shelves if you like a magical, heartfelt, inspiring, and even sometimes infuriating story!
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: Isobel has such a wonderful “Craft” of painting portraits that Fair Folk from the neighboring kingdom come all the time to commission her work. One day Prince Rook of Autumn comes to visit her and though they both try not to, feelings emerge even though it is forbidden for a mortal and a Fair Folk to fall in love. When he leaves with his painting Isobel knows she won’t see him again, only to have Rook storm into her house later when the painting is revealed and she’s committed a cardinal sin: painting human sorrow in his eyes! Together they run before the consequences of both of their actions, and their hearts desires, catch up to them!
This is not a normal fairy tale. These are the Fair Folk of legends and old wives tales. They glamour themselves to look more beautiful and are very haunting, but this book was beautiful. I loved Isobel and Rook and their quippy remarks to each other. I loved the world that Rogerson created in Whimsy and the forest. It was just such a great escape!
Add An Enchantment of Ravens to your shelves if you like a sweeping romance and some mysterious and tricksy Fair Folk!
Fable by Adrienne Young: There are 5 rules in Fable’s life: Keep your knife where you can reach it; Never owe anyone anything; Nothing is free; Always construct a lie from a truth; Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you. Her father drilled those rules into her and she has always lived up to them. Now as she is finally able to escape the island where he dumped her to prove herself, she searches for him to make him take her on as a member of his crew. Fable is also a very special kind of dredger, she can feel the gems she’s diving for, a lost art she learned from her mother before she sank beneath the waves. As Fable journeys through The Narrows with a rag tag crew, will she ab able to stick to her rules or will she have to learn to trust?
This was a very fun and quick read. Fable is fiery and the cast of supporting characters is quite entertaining. I had many many friends recommend this book and I’m glad I listened! A sequel is rumored to be working on for Fable’s story and I sure hope it comes soon! I need to know more about her journey!
Add Fable (and preorder Namesake) to your shelves if you like a swashbuckling adventure on the sea!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab: Adeline LaRue is a girl in 1700s France dreading the life she’s supposed to live: get married, have babies and forever be stuck in her tiny decrepit town. But when she calls upon the gods for help, one from the dark answers - you never pray to the ones after dark. Now Addie is free to live as she pleases, only no one remembers her. Ever. For 300 years she’s lived this way, a wraith among the human race and when she stumbles into Henry, her world changes with three simple words: “I remember you.”
This was a beautiful story. Addie is a wonderful leading lady and Henry is a great foil to her. Their journey together is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I adored it and am better for reading it.
Add The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue to your shelves if you like stories about faith, aspirations, bargains, and timeless romance.
For all my 2021 reads I also have them in a list on Amazon since I don't always have time for a review of each one! I will only link to the ones I liked/enjoyed - no duds there!
Ya know I think 2020 may have tried a little too hard to continue its rein of terror dontcha think?? Good grief what a start to the new year! I'm really hoping for smoother waters as the year progresses.
This year we have a few goals as a family, a few house projects we want to get done, and some personal goals of course. I've said it before but it bears repeating that I don't like resolutions. I don't like the pressure that comes with that term to make lofty goals that you may or may not (most likely won't) achieve. Kinda buzzkills the whole thing for me. BUT I am a firm believer in knowing your own limits and setting the goals you know you can manage.
For me, this is going to be a year of figuring out my space in the universe. Rediscovery if you will. I know I want to remember who I was before I got married and became a mother. Those two things are very very important and I would never change them or trade them away BUT I feel like I may have forgotten that I was an individual before all of that. I want to rediscover my passions and joys. I want to find my middle ground.
Finding a middle ground is the hardest part of growing. I feel pulled in a few directions but know in my heart that there's not necessarily always a perfectly right answer. I've had to dismantle a lot of biases and traditions and cultural demands to really get to where I want to be. To find where my soul is truly at peace within myself. I've had to learn that what seemed so black and white when I was younger is so much more complicated and grey than I thought. That I have grown up and have found my own opinions and have had to remold myself to be who I really am. I have a lot more to still do but I'm proud of the progress I've made thus far thanks to friends and some amazing therapists that have made resources available through social media to help us see things more clearly. (Dr Julie Hanks, Hey Tiffany Roe, and CelesteDavis are a few that have helped me immensely)
I want to grow my little side business more. I thoroughly enjoy making shirts and all of the goodness that comes from meeting new people and seeing their happy faces with my products. I want to build a community of friends this year. I have a hard time making friends more often than not to be honest. I am a painfully shy person until I get to know you better and then there's no holding back hahahaha
I want to read more. I also want to read more diverse books and diverse authors. I've made pretty decent headway from nothing but still want more and I love learning different things from the different authors and their stories. My goal is to read 50 books this year and so far I've read 10! Almost 11 but the last one was just boring as heck so I stopped hahaha I plan on doing Book Round Ups when I remember to on here but if you ever want to know what I'm reading, I update my Instagram often and my Goodreads/StoryGraph accounts so you can follow along too!
So for now, here's where my 2021 begins (January was a trial run hahaha) and I hope you all will join me for a year of fun and rediscovery!
I can't believe this year is finally coming to an end. Is anyone else feeliing slightly in the Twilight Zone about this whole endeavor? When I look back over the last 12 months, it seems like I've lived entire lifetimes since January.
We started the year with a trip up to visit our best friends and be there for their daughter's baptism. Covid wasn't even really on the radar yet, we had heard about it but it was a China only ordeal at that point. Then we moved through the wildfires of Australia that devasted the country and lost a lot of the wildlife there. We thought that was the defining point of the year.
March came. Covid came with a ferocity we didn't expect or know how to manage. We all experienced some level of stay at home order or quarantine to try to save lives. Then Covid became political instead of a public health issue and everything went downhill from there. Masks became a freedom statement, and more lives lost. The U.S. leads the world in Covid related deaths because people have forgotten how to love one another. Conspiracy theories run rampant and take away from the real science and progess being made.
May brought on the biggest racial justice movement in as very long time. People finally saw the travesty our Black brothers and sisters have been dealing with for generations. Many are still dealing with these issues and we HAVE to fix that. This treatment should never have happened. There are many reparations to be made and we need to start making them as a country, as a people, as a human movement.
We went through summer like people in a haze. School hadn't even been in since March so gearing up for a new school year was rough to say the least. We came up with our family motto for the year - "Just stay alive - that would be enough" - thank you to Lin-Manuel Miranda for those inspiring words from Hamilton. Grades wouldn't be very important to us, the goal is to survive the year. Thankfully through virtual, hybrid and in person learning road bumps we have made it through the first semester.
In October we celebrated Rory's decision to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were able to have less than 30 family members and close friends come and share that glorious day with her. It was a day of crazy funny stress but also so rewarding to see her take that step and be happy. Watching her start glowing as she walked towards her dad and then after getting confirmed by him as well just made my heart swell. She will never forget that day and the people we were able to share it with. I wish we could have had everyone come to celebrate but this year posed the health protocols, so maybe next year we can have a big bash to make up for it.
All 4 of us had our birthdays happen during a quarantine/stay at home order time. We are very lucky that we have such amazing family and friends that still made it special for us. Drop offs and video chats and singing videos made it better to be stuck together for so long. Andrew has been working from home since March and with no end in sight yet. So I've given up my office for him to be able to close a door to keep us loud girls out of his literal business while he works hahaha The girls have loved having him home all the time and all the extra perks of not having to wait for him to drive home. I've enjoyed having him here for the most part hahaha I think he would agree that it's awesome when it's been just the two of us here working together in the same space but it would also be fun to have our own spaces back hahaha
This year we have become closer as a family whether we wanted to or not hahaha I think this year has helped us see each other in different ways and helped us learn each other's strengths. We recently bought a new fire pit and have been trying to do one every weekend because it makes the kids so happy to just talk around the campfire and be outside watching the fire burn - and throwing all of their school papers we don't need right into it hahahaha Jade tells the funniest stories and Rory loves to dance around and tell us all about her aspirations. They are both dreamers like their mama and are mischievous like their dad.
We celebrated 10 years of marriage this December! Seems so long and yet so fast! We ate Panda for lunch to commemorate our poor newlywed stage, watched TV with the kids and then Andrew made a delicious pasta dinner for us while we watched Terminator: Dark Fate because we both wanted something mndless and unimportant to watch hahaha Normally it's Ratatouille we watch but this year we were both exhausted already so mindless violence won hahaha Happy as ever to be married to Andrew. As cliche as it may sound he really is my person. He's the one I count on and the one I know counts on me. I'm grateful that I found him and that we got over our initial teenage impressions of each other to form this amazing life we have.
This year has been trying for my faith. My faith in humanity. My faith in my church organization. My faith in many institutions I thought were correct and true. In my over 30 years of life I have not felt this heavy, disappointed, vulnerable, or misunderstood as I have this year. My faith in my Heavenly Parents and Christ is unshakable. I know They love me and are there for me whenever I need Them to be. I find peace in temple attendance and teaching/learning with others. But my trust has been broken with the contention and anger that I both feel and have been a recipient of in regards to many things this year. It's hard to "be one in Christ" when those around you call you names or say you must be this terrible thing just because you have different political beliefs than they do. Differences make the world go round, yes, but there is a trust that comes with gathering together that has been breached for me. It's going to take time and processing to build that trust up again and to heal from the many hurts/wrongs that have been thrust upon me for my beliefs/opinions.
I get strength from my Heavenly Mother as I wrestle with feelings of inequality and dismissal. I get love and understanding from Her as I wonder how on earth to teach my girls how to not be afraid of their own strengths. That they don't need to be meek always, when we've been told that is the goal of the "perfect angel mother". They can be strong, independent women and still be just as important and just as valued. I, for one, would rather be a warrior mother than an angel one. (another time another post!) I find love from my Father as I teach my girls how to love their spouses. Andrew and I are a team and no one does more than the other. Our divine roles are separate from supposed gender roles. We team teach, team gift, team give joy, team discipline, TEAMWORK. In my Elder Brother I find someone to sit in the dark with me. I know He's there because He's felt what I feel, He's experienced the betrayal, doubt, and anger I feel inside. I feel love instead of solutions. I feel acceptance rather than awkwardness. I know I'm not alone and that He's with me through it all.
I've made so many friends through the internet this year. I've also become closer with online friends I already had. It's been a weird year to say the least but I can honestly say that without my core group of online and IRL friends this year would have been even harder for me. While we can't gather in person yet, I still feel such a connection with these amazing people - people can be so good. Even when it seems like everyone is on differing sides, people can be very good. Here's hoping 2021 can include a much deserved Disneyland trip for us all and a meet up with my amazing online tribe :)
2020 has been a rough year. We can all agree on that. 2021 is hopefully the beginning of beautiful things to come and changes being made that should have always been. The light is there at the end of the tunnel, and what a crappy awful tunnel this has been. So with the good and the bad, goodbye 2020 - I won't miss you.
Oh 2020. You've sure thrown the world for a loop.
We started with the wildfires in Austrailia that devastated their country.
Then China closed because of a contagious virus.
That virus then spread across the globe!
We all experienced some level of quarantine/stay at home orders.
Then on May 25th we watched as a Black man named George Floyd was murdered by 4 white police officers in the street while one pressed his knee into George's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while he was handcuffed and laying on the ground.
That was the straw that broke us. Smoldering embers of rebellion were now fanned into giant burning flames of anger and frustration. George's death triggered all of us. It was an act of complete racism and cruelty and justice needs to be served. George's murderers have been charged and while that's good, there are countless others who's murderers have gone free just because they are white and "feared for their life". Or any number of excuses. Breonna Taylor was shot in her home by cops under a wrong address for a warrant AND the person they were looking for had alreay been apprehended HOURS before - her murderers are still free.
Since all of this started I have had Hamilton's "History Has Its Eyes on You" song stuck on repeat in my head. This song is George Washington talking to Alexander Hamilton right before the Battle of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War but it's struck me to the core since the first time I heard it:
"I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
And felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me (whoa)
History has its eyes on me
Let me tell you what I wish I'd known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
I know that we can win
I know that greatness lies in you
But remember from here on in
History has its eyes on you
History has its eyes on you"
While I know I'm not a general in an army, I was "given my first command" when I had my babies. THEY are my first little batallion. "I've made every mistake" - even though I'm not overtly racist, there are things in my life and culture that ARE and I'm working to dismantle them. This is not going to be a quick fix or even an easy one. History has its eyes on us, how will we be remembered in the books??
Now, I can already hear y'all saying "one bad cop doesn't represent the whole!!!" Guys, I know that. I have family that were/are in criminal justice and law enforcement. I know they personally would never let something happen like that. Unfortunately those bad apples are literally spoiling the barrel that shouldn't even be able to BE spoiled! Our justice system is broken. You watch any crime TV you'll know this. Some of the loops people have to jump through for supposed justice are just insane. Some make sense but you would think those would be in place to begin with, but they're not because of who and how the system was set up by.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration and Constitution to be different than a monarchy but it still only really helped white men who owned land. It did not include women and it most certainly did not include Black people or POC in any way. When slavery was finally abolished after the Civil War (which was fought because of slavery, no matter what history books say, it was a HUGE factor) Black people STILL weren't treated the same.
The Civil Rights Movement that happened in the 60s, Martin Luther King Jr led protests that were peaceful this is true. However you are fogetting that they also endured KKK attacks and defended themselves when needed and were considered rioters for it. And when Dr King was SHOT, shot for being peaceful and wanting change, the protests and riots that followed are what made the government finally enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But that was still after 7 days of complete chaos because they refused to listen to the peaceful pleas and protests.
Even now, there is racism rampant in our country. We have a President that is overtly racist and a horrible human being. Our healthcare system is rigged and POC are dying at a faster rate from COVID19 than white people. Even whn not in a pandemic, there have been studies about black mothers dying from childbirth or complications from childbirth at a hugely higher rate than white mothers. Criminals that commit the same crime but are different races have different sentences. Whenever a white person does something heinous, they look to see who's fault it is for "triggering them into violence". Whereas when it's a black person it's always where they're from and the gang presence or drug presence in that neighborhood that's talked about. As if they are less than worth it because of where they're from. The media especially tries to humanize the white ones and dehumanize the Black or POC ones - even the innocent ones.
I could go on, because there is so much more, but I want to also bring to the frontlines that our Indigenous brothers and sisters are also being targeted and they deserve changes made to help their lands stay sacred and reparations for our Manifest Destiny crap! That's a whole other post and I will write it because it's been on my heart for years, but I was too scared to write it. Any post like this, I was scared to write because I don't want my words used incorrectly or against me but in the end, I keep thinking about the legacy I'll leave behind for my children and how I change my little part of the world I'm in charge of. I don't want them thinking that I stood by and just watched in horror as these things happen in my country. I've done enough of that without realizing it's harm. I want to make a change. So let's start the conversation.
Donate. Sign petitions. Protest if you can. Demand justice from the authorities. Write and call your reps in Congress. VOTE. This year is crucial to our willingness to continue the change we want to see!
My husband and I read an article the other day that said something to this effect - we are the generation that was told that if we did everything right, we will succeed. And if we want change, to demand it of our leaders by voting them in and then telling them what we want fixed. Well, we've done that and are being ignored. Can you blame us for being upset at the system we were told would work for us?? We are angry and we will change the world. "Just you wait!"
Let's be honest: how many of us discovered so many things in our homes that needed attention once we were forced to sit still with it all???
My poor sweet husband has had to listen to me gripe about how much I hate the wall color in our home since the day we saw it and decided to buy it, and to be fair, I still do and someday we'll be able to have the entire house repainted but for now.....
We were fortunate enough to collaborate with PhotoWall for this Master Bedroom Glow up! It wasn't a complete renovation but we did quite a lot to make this into a more serene, grown up space!
Here's our oh-so-glamourous before shot of our bedroom! We were in desperate need y'all!
Now I'll be real honest, I've never worked with wallpaper before. Like the closest I've ever gotten to wallpaper is when we made a paper mache chocolate waterfall for the jr high play in 7th grade! Hahaha so to say we were noobs is a complete understatement but we were willing to try it out!
When I finally picked out the print I wanted, I knew I needed to change up the walls in our room too because this contractor beige nasty color is just that - nasty. So I used the handy dandy Home Depot ProjectColor App to find the perfect shade of white to match the wallpaper (also did you know there's a million shades of white??? WHY?!) I ran to Home Depot, wearing my mask made by a sweet lady in my neighborhood so I could stay as safe as possible while being out, and grabbed a sample of Winter Morn from Glidden! It has a slight purple hue when you open the container but it's a gorgeous white once it's on the walls!
When we got the product it was even more gorgeous in person than online! I was so excited to finally make an accent wall in our room. As we got started we discovered that they had given us quite a bit extra on the bottom of each panel (which could absolutely be my fault when entering measurements, lezzzzbe real) so we tried to move it up a bit to keep the excess a bit less but that was our first mistake hahaha
About halfway through we realized we had made an even bigger mistake so we just kinda made it work hahaha I won't tell you the mistake for fear of making ourselves look fools (again) but I will say that once we were finished we realized how we should have started and begun the process. Aaaaaaand we also realized that that was what the instructions were telling us the entire time but we were just too impatient/inexperienced to understand that hahaha OOOPS! *facepalm*
Overall, we discovered we are not handy enough to handle wallpaper on another surface hahaha the product we received is incredible, amazing quality, and for people that have done wallpaper before it's probably easy but for us that have never done anything like this it was a bit over our heads hahahaha
After getting this gorgeous wallpaper up on the wall, I knew we needed something else to make it even better and more of a grown up room - enter Wayfair with a killer sale!!
We've been without a headboard since we moved into this house because it got broken in the truck - it's always at least one thing right?? When I found this one on Wayfair I was so excited! It's the perfect simple style with just a hint of glam ya know?? We've been wanting wall lamps for a long time, even before we moved into this house. I knew the general idea of what I was looking for but couldn't ever find the right one until these beauties showed up on my search! And on a serious sale too to boot! I was so happy to add them to my cart!
One of the only things I actually liked in our room before was the vinyl on the wall with the words from our wedding song. So I knew I needed something to be able to have them back up again. My sweet friend and her husband actually built me this 24 X 36 sign and then I painted it and used vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to complete it!
My heart has been so happy these past couple days with a beautiful new master bedroom! I have PhotoWall to thank for this amazing transformation! And as a thank you, they're also giving me a discount code for all of you lovely people!
Use code: ourhappilyeverafter2021 at checkout for 25% off your treasure for your walls!
They have so many amazing prints, it took me almost 3 weeks to finally narrow it down and then an extra one to make sure this was the one!
Thanks PhotoWall for the opportunity and the amazing wallpaper makeover!
Let's talk crafts shall we???
Y'all know I LOVE Disney and that I collect Disney pins both from the parks and from independent creators. And for the past 10 years I've had them inside a pin bag which is awesome....except that no one but me could really see them on a daily basis. Plus then I'd have to get the bag OUT and what a pain!
So I've had this idea of a shadow box type thing for the pins but I couldn't figure out how to display them in a cute way. Enter Expressions Vinyl and their amazing adhesive PATTERNED vinyl and inspiration struck!
Aren't they so cute!? I was seriously proud of what I came up with! SO let's break it down just a bit so you can make one too!
To do this project I needed:
- Disney pins
- Corkboard squares (mine are 12 X12)
- Floating Picture frames (again mine are 12X12 from Hobby Lobby)
- adhesive patterned vinyl from Expressions Vinyl
First thing I did was decide which pins would be grouped together. I did mine based on the pages I had them on in my pin book, so all my Mickey and Minnie were already together and such. Then it was time to sort through my collection of amazing vinyl from Expressions (no, this isn't sponsored at all, I just really REALLY love their products, pricing and that they are a family run small business - so I support them wholeheartedly!)
Then I cut the corkboard down to the right size, the frames may have been 12X12 but that meant that the corkboard had to be trimmed by a bit to fit. Once trimmed then I adhered the vinyl to the square. Trim off excess vinyl, you could save them as scraps for another project too!
Take the frame apart and get rid of one of the glass pieces, you don't need both. Place one of the glass piece back into the frame and then stick your pins through the vinyl/corkboard. You will not be able to put the backs on the pins but that's ok! Once you have the pins all in place put the corkboard pin side down right against the glass. Carefully put the rest of the frame together minus that extra piece of glass and voila! You are finished!
With all of this extra time we've been given to do so much I'm hoping to get more crafting done so that I keep busy! Plus even though my office has been taken over currently (curse-you-work-from-home-situation-but-also-thank-you-that-Andrew-still-has-a-job-to-do!) I'll have to get more creative on how we do crafting in my house hahaha
What's your latest crafting/sanity project been??
Hey there guys! Long time, no posts am I right?? Life has been throwing curve ball after curveball for the past like year and we're still reeling from all that and then BOOM! Corona Virus hits everywhere. Don't worry this isn't another post on:
"How to entertain your kids during the Coronavirus" or "Ways to Connect During a Crisis". This is nothing but hope and happy vibes.
I know it's a little scary out there right now. People are acting completely out of character or not acting enough and putting people in danger. I'm not going to be writing a post about what you should or shouldn't do either, that's not my place, However I will say this: STAY THE FREAK HOME IF POSSIBLE.
Now, let's talk happy and hope. Think of how many families can now spend time together that normally don't get to. How much time people will realize they have to do the things they love. When was the last time you sat down with a good book? Drew a picture? Crafted a shirt or a sign? Wrote a poem? Took a nap in the middle of the day? Did laundry, folded AND put it away on the same day? (yeah me neither on that last one hahahaha)
I'm very grateful that all of this happened while my kiddos were already on their two week Spring Break. The transition we may have to make for schooling won't be as drastic for them for which I am grateful. My husband now works from home. This is also a transition and not permanent but it's been amazing to have him home while the sun is still out. He normally has at least an hour commute to and from work so this extra time has been amazing so far.
In this time of uncertainty and fear, remember the good! Time is something we always want more of. Now we've been given it. Let's use it to hone in on the important things like family, hobbies you've always wanted to learn, movies you've been wanting to see (on demand or streaming of course - social distancing y'all!!) and ENJOY the process and gift we've really been given.
It's still a good year. There is still so much potential for good to come from us coming together as a global family to combat this.
If you are still unsure and feeling anxious, for which I do not blame you at all. Everyone has different levels of tolerance for anxiety (fellow anxious one here), remember there are Heavenly Parents watching over all of us. We have the Almighty watching over us all and loves us. I know sometimes it seems a hollow comfort but I promise you They are there, Heavenly Mother and Father watch over us all and love us and know us by name. SO keep this scripture from Joshua in mind:
Stay safe everyone and lets write down everything good that happens everyday from all of this!
As the Skywalker saga comes to an end this year, it made me think of how Star Wars has effected me in my life.
It started as something I watched with my dad, who's been an avid fan from the beginning, and bond with him to something that means so much more to me than I thought.
A big factor in that development was the year I spent at Disneyland working in Tomorrowland in Star Trader surrounded by Star Wars merchandise, fans, lore, characters and people that genuinely loved this story. (I have a funny story about cast members that portrayed both Darth Maul and Darth Vader but another time!!)
I learned and "trained to be a Jedi Knight" as I helped younglings and Padawans build lightsabers and tell them stories of the Jedi before them that had the same color saber or answered questions they had about various characters. It was truly then I think that I realized how much Star Wars meant to people and how magical it could be and it changed me too.
Yesterday I watched as "the circle [was] now complete[d]" and it left me in tears. Our beloved Rebel Princess and Resistance General Carrie Fisher left us too soon but the way they paid tribute to her is worthy of everything she built.
"A thousand generations of Jedi now live in you. The Force will be with you.....Always" Watching Rey, Poe, Finn, and the Resistance fight against the First Order against all odds is something to wonder and respect. The story completes in a perfect way and I truly hope all fans can come together after this and rejoice in the amazing 40 year journey we've all taken together.
J.J. Abrams promised to surprise us, and that he did. Be sure you're paying attention to details and see some of the subtle tributes he pays to the fans. Music cues also pay tribute to Jedi, Sith, and stories past which helped enhance the experience.
As for kids, I won't be taking my kids to see this in the theater ONLY BECAUSE there are some older themes that I know my 7 and 5 year old will need explained and a theater is not the place to do that hahahaha So when it comes out we will do a big movie night so we can pause and answer questions as needed
As you go out and watch this conclusion, remember #MayTheShushBeWithYou as Mark Hamill himself posted on his Instagram. Let all enjoy this final chapter.
May The Force Be With You
Here you will find love, magic, bookworm favorites, Disney tips, and a family on their journey to Happy Ever After!