Treat Yourself / Weekend Links: Makeover Edition

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It’s summer and my brain doesn’t feel like having to think too hard this weekend. Plus I need a time-out from all of the big opinions of the day. Is it too much to ask for all of us to just love our fellow man and then go paint some furniture together? It is. But that won’t stop me from dreaming of pretty walls and enjoying a yummy lunch and painting furniture by myself.

Also, a fun announcement. There’s a little something I’ve been working on these last few months. It’s free. It’s for you. It’ll be on the blog next week. Yay! Check back in, subscribe, and all that good stuff so you won’t miss it.

Now on to the weekend. May these links inspire you to re-imagine what’s right in front of you — whether it’s a cast-off piece of furniture, your refrigerator’s tired produce, a blank space on your wall that’s begging for art, or empty hands that just need a good book. Happy weekending!

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Sewing Cabinet To Outdoor Bar from Sweet Pea.

My screen porch called and said she wanted this for parties. Please send all the old, empty sewing cabinets my way. I’m super lazy these days when it comes to rehabbing a piece of furniture but this one looks easy-ish and can work for everything from a party for grown-ups to a tub full of gatorades for my kids and their friends. Not to mention an iced-coffee bar. Tons of possibilities with this one.

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Bizarro Meal Prep that Changes the Game from Kendra Adachi at The Lazy Genius Collective.

At first this sounded like it required more energy than I felt like giving because my lazy streak is a mile wide. But I’ve done this a couple of times now when I’m already working in the kitchen. It’s easy and makes you feel like a superhero when a lackluster Tuesday rolls around and you have a yummy lunch or diced veggies already waiting for you.

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Get Your Falling Free Bonus Freebies at Shannan Martin Writes.

If you preorder Shannan’s book {coming out in September / can’t wait}, she’ll fill your arms with all sorts of goodies, including this FREE downloadable fine art print by Jess Franks. #swoon

You’re welcome. {I’ll be chatting more about this book in the weeks to come.}

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And here’s a couple of summer posts from yours truly that you may have missed:

My 5 Favorite Literary Novels Ever

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How to Receive Your Own Summer Life

Thank you Emily Freeman for recently featuring this one on “For Your Weekend.” What a sweet and happy gift.

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I’m all about helping you recapture the possibility of your right-now life.

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{P.S. Let’s hang out on Instagram.}

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How I Almost Let a Horrible Light Fixture Ruin My Life

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In a perfect world, life should pause when you move your family and all of your belongings to a new house during the busiest part of the year.

But it doesn’t. We are grown-ups and therefore we carry on, even if we are not always keeping calm. People need to be fed and clothed and helped and loved, major life transition or not. And so, like many of you, I schlep around our three kids who are at three different stages of life in three different schools and with three different sports. Church and basketball practice and birthdays and invites — they all keep going.

And then there is this house, which we dearly love, patiently waiting to be settled into and cozied up so that it can love on us and the people who come through our doors.

These are all the best problems really. We have jobs! And children! Who get to receive an education and play sports and have friends!

We have a lovely house for which we prayed and waited so long, one that shelters us and felt like home from the very beginning.

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I write these things to remind myself because over the weekend I was not all, “Yay house and I’m so grateful for shelter!”

No. I was standing on top of my daughter’s bed WEEPING because of a light fixture from 1959. My bewildered husband looked at me and made the dreaded remark that husbands sometimes make when they are trying to console a crazy woman: “It’s not the end of the world.”

But in that moment, it was, in fact, the end of the world. It was so much the end of the world that I left the house and found myself in my favorite Chinese restaurant with a to-go order. Extra rice. And an egg roll for good measure. Because a gal needs nourishment when the world is ending.

This would probably be a good place to insert the backstory.

[Read more…]

6 Things I Learned in May

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It’s time to share the things we learned in May. The What We Learned posts are hosted by Emily Freeman as a “monthly community link-up to share the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred, or small.” Mine is usually just ridiculous. Want to know more of what I’m talking about? Go here. {And you really must click over because this month there’s a picture of what Barbie would look like without make-up. We are changing the world with these posts, people.}

In no particular order, here are things I’ve learned in May.

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1. May is the month of dumb. I don’t even know why I’m writing Things I “Learned” in May because if ever there is a month when the wheels simply fall off altogether, surely it is May. I’ve lost my keys and my wallet multiple times this month, I cannot remember basic words when trying to talk {or write}, I almost forgot my own birthday, a certain child has left a lunchbox at home three times this month even though said child has remembered it all year, and then another child left their backpack — their backpack — at home today. It should be noted that the kindergartener forgets nothing. He should totally be running the show because the rest of us are clueless.

And all of this cluelessness can only mean one thing: school needs to be done. We have 3 full days and 2 half days left. Amen and hallelujah. I’m reminded of this Jen Hatmaker post from last year: Worst End of School Year Mom Ever. There’s a reason that post went viral — because it’s 100% true. Mrs. Hatmaker hit the nail on the head.

We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. 

I couldn’t agree more. Dear Summer, please give us our brains back.

 

2. Fiction is good for the soul. Throughout the fall and winter, I was on a steady diet of serious books. Good books, helpful and instructional, insightful books, but not fiction. Maybe this is part of the reason my brain gave out this spring — too much thinking and introspection. I enjoy good and thoughtful fiction; I’m not a fan of fluffy reads with contrived dialogue. But there’s just something about story that’s renewing. In May I’ve devoured The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls {which is actually a memoir but reads like fiction}, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and I’m making my way through The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Oh and I’m finishing up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo with my littlest guy. {It’s such an exquisite, heart-wrenching, redemptive story. DiCamillo is one of my favorites. She has that rare gift of being able to weave the deepest of truths into the most beautiful children’s stories.}

 

3. Modern Mrs. Darcy has a fantastic Summer Reading Guide.

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It’s her third annual guide and there’s something for most anyone I think. I appreciate that she breaks the list down into genres with a little blurb about each book. These lists are gold. I’m not affiliated with Modern Mrs. Darcy in any way; I’m simply a fan.

 

4. Stephen King wrote the story that was adapted into The Shawshank Redemption. Did you know this? I can’t believe I didn’t know this because Shawshank is one of my all-time favorite movies. My husband told me that last week and I immediately scribbled it down, thinking to myself “Oh this will be perfect to share in the next Things I Learned post.” The original story is a novella entitled Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. It’s part of a collection of stories in Different Seasons. Now I’ve got to read the novella. {Also? I love the word “novella.”}

 

5. There are almost always options for the frustrations and “roadblocks” we face in our homes.

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I wrote two posts this month about home-improvement hacks that actually worked, even though I was way skeptical. I’ve had a lot of trial and error and hilarity in my efforts over the years to feather my nest creatively and affordably. I’ve cussed at Modge Podge and hot glued things directly to the ceiling and used everything from a high heel to an ice-cream scoop to pound nails into my walls. I’ve experienced epic fails and accidental successes.

The stories of the sofa that won’t die and making one gigantic rug out of two pathetic ones are some recent hacks gone right, accidental successes that inspire me to embrace the supposed limitations.

 

6. Scientists have invented a Drinkable Book.

 

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Have you seen this?!? I came across it on Ann Voskamp’s blog last weekend and at first I thought it wasn’t real. How could this possibly be real? But it’s totally a thing and one of the most amazing inventions I’ve ever seen — life-saving, world-changing, hope-inspiring innovation. If you haven’t seen this, you must. 

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Perhaps May isn’t as void of brain activity as I thought. This post proves that I am, in fact, still learning things…even if I’m forgetting other things at a far more rapid pace than I’m learning new things.

Your turn. What cool, awe-inspiring, or ridiculous things did you learn in May?

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