Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grace at Home No. 91


Welcome to this week's Grace at Home party!  This is a link party to celebrate God's good gift of grace and to celebrate the ways we reflect that grace by making our homes places of grace, love, and beauty.

Grace at Home


I am out of town this week with limited internet access, so next week I'll include features from two parties.

Thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!







Thursday, January 23, 2014

Grace at Home No. 90


Welcome!  It's time for the weekly Grace at Home link party.  Every day we are recipients of God's grace and love.  Here we gather once a week to celebrate the ways we make our homes a reflection of God's grace.

Here are a few of my favorite links from last week's party.

It's really cold outside here in North Carolina, so I was delighted to find this recipe for Corn Chowder with Sausage from Paula at Sweet Pea.  Doesn't this look delicious?


Another creamy soup really caught my eye, too--this one for Baked Potato Soup from Kathy at Miss Grace-Filled Life.  Yum!


Laura from Decor to Adore created a skirt for her desk--a whole new look for just a few dollars!

1-DTA 007

Many of us are trying to get things organized for the new year.  Carol from An Oasis in the Desert wins the prize for best organizing this week--her husband created pull-out shelves for a master bathroom cupboard and Carol whipped everything into shape.  Love this!



And Becky from Time Out with Becky Kopitzke really made me think with her post "So What's That New App Worth to You, Really?"


And this week I chose a word for the new year--and decided NOT to focus on balance!  I'd love to know what you think.


Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured this week (or in a previous week), feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A surprising UNword for 2014


In contemplating what word I'd like to be my "word of the year" for 2014, I realize that there's a word I need to lose even more than a word I need to gain.  


#unword2014

Surprisingly, the word I need to get rid of is one that I've already seen many people embrace as their word for the year.  It's a word that gets bandied about as an ideal, and it's one that I myself have tried to attain.  Honestly, it sounds like a great idea.

My UNword for 2014?  Balance.

Now why would I want to get rid of such a nice idea?  Isn't it the key to success, the secret to a happy life? Shouldn't I be striving for more of it??

No.  I don't think so.

Because real life isn't balanced.  Day to day, week to week, season to season--sometimes we're relaxed; other times we're rushed.  Sometimes we're snowed under with work; other times we have an excess of leisure.  Sometimes we have good amounts of work time and rest time; other times it's all we can do to snatch a moment of respite.

Honestly, striving for balance sounds more like walking a tightrope or working with a chemical equation than living a real life.  Who wants life to be like that?

So instead of balance this year, I'm going for another word: rhythm.

God created the world with natural rhythms--the rising and setting of the sun, the ebb and flow of the tides, the passage of the seasons.  Our bodies have natural rhythms, too--the beat of our hearts, the pulse of our blood flowing through our veins, the rise and fall of our breaths.

Instead of a delicate balancing act or a difficult chemical equation, the idea of rhythm brings to my mind thoughts of music. Sometimes we waltz through our days with ease.  Sometimes we must put on our boots and march.  Sometimes we sing the blues.  But whatever the background music, we make it through if we learn to keep time.


Too often I've struggled against the beat, trying to superimpose some kind of artificial "balance" into my days rather than going with the flow of the music of my life.  I've wanted to control my circumstances.  I've resisted the leadership of others, wanting to march to the beat of my own drummer--and I've often ended up out of step.

So this year I'm giving up on balance and working instead on rhythm.  And I figure that, with God as the conductor of the symphony, I can trust that the soundtrack of my life will be good.

How about you?  Do you have a word for 2014?  How about an UNword?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grace at Home No. 89


Welcome to the Grace at Home party!  Each week we pause and give thanks for the grace God gives to us and celebrates the way we can make our homes a reflection of that grace.

Here are a few of my favorite posts from last week's party.

Brandi from Nest of Bliss showed us how she transitioned from Christmas decor to winter decor.  Isn't this beautiful?

How to Decorate for Winter
Lisa at Practically Perfect Home made  coffee table from pallets.  This is one of the best uses of free pallets that I've seen!

pallet3

Barb at Second Chance to Dream provided several tools to help strengthen your prayer life.  Great resources here!

Second Chance to Dream: 5 Tools to help you strengthen your prayer life + Free Printables #prayer #freeprintables

Debbie at One Day at a Time developed an ingenious way for making workday mornings easier.  So smart!


As for me, I'm currently making plans for some updates to my kitchen.  I'm asking for opinions about what I should do with my range hood.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and give me your thoughts!



Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured this week (or in a previous week), feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Help with kitchen design decision


Decisions, decisions!  I have some design decisions to make, and I'd like to ask for your help!

Our house was built in late 2004, so it's now nearly 10 years old.  There are so many things about this house we love, but we'd like to make a few updates, particularly in the kitchen.  Here's my kitchen as it is right now:


I'm not going to be making huge changes, but I do want to update the look of this room.  For instance, I've grown tired of the tumbled marble backsplash.  I'm thinking I'll change this out to a lighter tile, such as an off-white subway tile.  I think that would look good with my granite (which is not changing--way too expensive!) and help to provide a lighter, brighter kitchen.

At the moment I'm trying to decide what to do with my range hood, and I'd love your help!  I've been thinking that I'd like to go with a large stainless steel hood over the range, perhaps like one of these kitchens:

I snapped this photo in a showroom.
I especially like the photo below.  As you can see, this kitchen is warm and homey, not at all industrial-looking.
Source: HouseofFifty.com

Or perhaps I should have my range hood cabinetry made smaller and a range hood installed below it, like this:

Or maybe I should think of having the range hood cabinetry altered into more of a focal point, like this one:

Source: houzz.com
Another option would be keeping my current wood range hood but perhaps painting it a complementary color or something to make it stand out a bit more.

So many choices!!  I'd love your opinions:  do you think I should go for a stainless steel range hood, or should I do something with wood?   Is it a downgrade to remove a custom wood hood and install stainless steel?  If you have a stainless steel hood, do you like it?  Any suggestions for me?  Any photos you think I should see?

Thanks so much for your help!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Grace at Home No. 88


Hello, friends!  Every blessing on your day today!

I've been under the weather this past week, but I'm so glad that it's now time for our weekly Grace at Home party.  I thrive on this weekly reminder to savor God's grace and to celebrate the ways we make our homes reflections of that grace.

Here are a few of my favorite links from last week's party.

Glenda from Fondly, Glenda inspired me with her post "Why I Love, Really Love, January."  I needed to read this one!  I'll bet you'll find it inspiring, too.


Laura from The Turquoise Home showed us a fun and practical way to re-use and upcycle old candles.  I need to do this with my leftover Christmas candles!

Upcycle Old Candles {find out all the details at TheTurquoiseHome.com}
Audrey from Neverending Decorating created a great ottoman from an old table.  What a wonderful way to re-purpose!



Quite a few people wrote about their resolutions for the new year.  Debbie from Debbie-Dabble, one of the sweetest ladies in the blogosphere, shared her one little word for 2014.


Bernadette from Barefoot Hippie Girl is doing a 31-day series this month: "New Year, Renewed You."  Looks like a winner!



Thank you to everyone who joined the party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured this week (or in a previous week), feel free to grab the "I was featured" button (the code is right over in my sidebar).  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

 

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Grace at Home No. 87


Happy New Year!!

It's hard for me to believe that it's already the second day of 2014, but here we are.  Another Christmas has come and gone.  I hope yours was wonderful!


Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

I'm grateful for the chance to stop each week and consider how grateful I am for the grace of God and how I might make my home a reflection of that grace.  That's what the weekly Grace at Home linky party is all about.

Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about
  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!