Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ottoman Revival: A freebie gets a stunning facelift

Ottoman Revival: A freebie gets a stunning facelift

I love vintage furniture! I found a great little ottoman at an estate sale one summer. It was cute, round and green. It had a tiny tear in the vinyl that just needed a simple patching but I managed to get it thrown into my purchase pile for free, so it was a win all around!

However five minutes with my boys and the tiny tear turned into a huge rip. So away went the ottoman to be repaired. Fast forward an out of state move and three months in storage and the little ottoman final got the makeover it deserves. And the best part: it was completely free!

I started by taping the tears and cutting out some foam I had saved from a torn up crib mattress. I dug through my fabric stash and found this great shimmering aquamarine piece that I think I may have had for over ten years… I always knew it had great potential and being a closet hoarder paid off once again! :-D

I knew I wanted to duplicate the piping on the original design, but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish the task. Thanks to Pinterest I found this excellent tutorial on piping. Knowledge breeds confidence, fortified with this new confidence I dove in and got started. 

Per the tutorials instructions I used a zipper foot to stitch the piping together. I’m not sure I would have ever thought to use that foot on my own, but it worked perfectly to get a nice tight closure around the cord. 

I attached the piping to the straight section before pining both pieces to the round top section. 

Another excellent tip was to cut notches in the work as you go to release some of the tension in the fabric as you stitch around the circle. This step along with making sure to stay as closely as possible to the piping kept the final product laying smooth. 

After stitching all three pieces together I taped the foam in place on top of the ottoman and slipped on the new cover. I used a staple gun to secure it along the bottom. I took my time during this step making sure it was evenly pulled taut and smoothed out along the top edge of the piece. 

After finishing the stapling, I wanted to give it a bottom that glides easily across the wood floors, made with a fabric that wouldn’t unravel. I found a great felt piece. Unfortunately it was bright red, but since it was just the bottom I decided it would work.  I cut it to size, making sure to cover all the staples for the safety of our hardwood floors, and used a hot glue gun to secure it to the bottom. 

I recently purchased some stencils for a curtain project I am working on (Hopefully I will be sharing that with you next week!) and depending on how well that goes I may be adding some designs to this piece as well. For now I love how this little guy turned out. It's the perfect accent color in our living room and just the right size to put your feet up after a long day of Chasing Socks! 

Thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to sharing my other projects with you soon. 

Until Next Time, 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What is Love? {Four Principles to Make Love a Reality}

What is Love?

I often say, “I love you” to my husband. Sometimes it’s to remind him that I love him, other times it’s to remind myself… but what is love? What does it look like? 

Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day here in America, love currently looks a lot like gifts, chocolates, and flowers. My Facebook news feed was full of status updates of wives bragging on their husbands Valentine’s accomplishments, myself included. Because we all want to feel loved, appreciated, and cherished. But when the candy aisle changes from red hearts to cream filled eggs, what does love look like then? 

Anyone who has been married for longer than a month knows love can be challenging, to say the least. My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate nine years of marriage. Living life together (with four boys) for almost a decade as provided several opportunities to rethink my expectations of what “being in love” looks like. It’s difficult, it’s messy, but it is beautiful and completely worth the effort.

My quest for the truth about love has led me back to the book that illustrates the greatest love story every told; The Bible. The world love is mentioned over 300 times throughout the book. God designed us for love, for relationship with Him. He is more than the author and creator of love, He IS love. His word says: No greater love has one than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 ESV) The sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross for us was the ultimate act of Love. So what does that mean for us? Obviously giving up our physical life is not a something most of us will be called to do for our spouse. But I am learning the many ways we can apply this great act of love in our daily lives. Here are a few I’m practicing:

Believe the best in each other: in the moments when it is easy to slip into the patters of recounting past sins and placing blame, choose love instead. Believe the best in your spouse, remind yourself and each other that you are on the same side and more than likely your goals are the same, even if your methods are different. 

Listen well: respond instead of react, when your spouse is being grumpy, listen well. Is it fatigue, frustration, or fear driving the attitude?  Offer a listening ear, not an unwelcome solution, just a sounding board. This is a tough one for me, I like to fix things…  

Embrace your differences: Remember just because it’s different doesn’t mean its wrong! One of the greatest moments of self sacrifice can come by laying down your way and trying something new. For us this can be as simple as the way we load the dishwasher, or don't re-do what’s already been done. 

Trust in your True Identity: This is by far the most challenging for me, especially during this season of my life. My identity can get lost in piles of dirty laundry and sleepless nights. Trying to force my husband to fill a God sized gap is not only unfair, it’s a trap the enemy puts in our way to ensnare us in unhappiness. When I believe in me, in who I am, who I’ve always been, before the SAHM label, before the wife title, I can be free from fear. The fear of rejection that causes defensiveness. The fear of failure that causes overwork and exhaustion. These fears and so many others are the opposite of love. Fear is at work against us because he is at work against Love. Our choice to trust in our identity is the best way to fulfill all the other acts of love. We are children of God, created in His image to do good works, loved with an everlasting love, called, chosen, redeemed, restored, beautiful, cherished. Nothing can separate us from this identity and this love. (Romans 8:31-39) When we believe this truth then sacrificial love comes easily. 

So what is love? Love is believing the best in each other. Listening with open hearts and closed mouths. Love is embracing each other’s differences. Love is walking in your true identity and not expecting your spouse to be your God, but offering your heart with confidence because even if you get hurt, it will never change who you are, a child of the King. 

Here are a few of my favorite resources on love and marriage... The BibleLoving On PurposeThe 5 Love LanguagesThe Meaning of Marriage 

If you have any question or want to discuss the topics further please feel free to contact me. If you've never experience this Love I'm talking about, the love only God can give you, don't hesitate to reach out and ask some questions. It's never to late to let Love in!

Until Next Time, Choose Love!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Noatmeal" a Hot Cereal Makeover - Dairy, Gluten, and Sugar Free (THM S)

My plans of writing more frequently have been interrupted by what I like to call "the blue screen of death." It is the error screen that shows up every time I turn on my PC informing me of its dismal state.

Until a decision is made on how to repair (or replace) it I am limited to the use of my smartphone. And it is just not the same as sitting down and using a keyboard. 

That being said I had to share my new favorite breakfast with you.

Having recently moved north we are adjusting to colder temperatures. I love it! I love fuzzy slippers, cozy sweaters, and sipping hot tea all day.

However, breakfast can get a little boring. I normally save eggs for dinner and now that I am gluten and dairy free I have even left my standard oatmeal breakfast behind. Thanks to Pinterest I found this recipe for Noatmeal and it hits the spot! It is fast, easy, warm, and filling. Everything I need in a breakfast. It has more of a Malt-o-meal texture than oats but it is just as versatile. Here is my take on the recipe:

2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax
1/2 Cup Almond milk (or dairy free milk of choice)
1 Tablespoon Pyure Stevia
Pinch of Mineral Salt
Dash of Vanilla
Optional Add Ins:
Liquid Egg Whites (see note)
Maple Flavor

Mix ingredients in small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until desired thickness is reached. Mine takes approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in desired add ins.

Transfer to bowl and serve (or save a dish and eat it straight from the pan) So easy!

Note: I wait to whisk in my egg whites until after cooking, but while still very hot. This adds a nice creamy protein source without adding any eggy flavor to the dish.

I hope you can enjoy your cozy winter morning even more with this yummy hot breakfast.

Until Next Time,