dreaming about: a cozy bedroom reading nook.

img_1481We moved into our new house almost two months ago and while it’s bigger! better! and all the other adjectives that mean it’s amazing, it’s also bigger! emptier! blanker! It’s been no rush as building a home is a marathon not a race, but we’ve filled in some of the spaces with lucky finds from the side of the road and some painstakingly sourced items off of facebook marketplace. After a rush of decorating in the first month, I’ve hit a real standstill with my efforts.

When we bought our home, we knew that we wanted to re-do the kitchen within the first year, and a lot of other little projects are on the list (laundry room, bathroom, general painting, gardening, etc), but our bedroom didn’t make the list. It turns out though, that as our place is a lot bigger than our old one, our bedroom furniture is dwarfed by the size of the room. We have room for more than just the bed and dresser of our old house.

I’ve been browsing pinterest and dreaming of bermuda shutters, a plant, a new lamp, frames for the walls, a little writing desk and a cozy reading nook. First on my list is the chair for next to the built in bookcase. A desk, I would prefer being used, so it’s just a matter of happening upon the right one. An upholstered chair on the other hand, I want to be fresh and clean and new. I’m thinking I smell a Christmas gift to ourselves. Here’s a few that I’ve found in the hunt so far!

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Shop the chairs:

  1. The Lillith  // Home Depot // $210
  2. Cancome Armchair // Wayfair // $204
  3. Brynn // World Market // $240 // (the current forerunner)
  4. Lohoms // Amazon // $146
  5. Ethan Mid Century Modern Linen Chair // Sofa Mania // $130
  6. Neva // Sixpenny //$1100 (absolutely a splurge. I can’t believe chairs can even cost that much!!)

Which one is your favorite? #3 is winning right now for me, but I’ll keep looking around until I find just the right one. No rush, right? 🙂

a school craft: gratitude chain

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November has blown into our midst and with it, at least in the elementary school library, comes discussions about gratitude, songs about turkeys and books about special holiday family gatherings. I started our school gratitude chain this morning with my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and each time they visit the library I’ll have them write little or big things that they are grateful for up to Thanksgiving break.

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This is such a quick and easy way to talk about how feeling grateful for things in our life links us together. I love doing these school wide bonding projects where my students can pick out the small part they play in the big picture. They’re part of something. I had students who wrote that they were thankful for their breakfast, their parents, their pets and others who said they were thankful for God, the world, and their education (whoa). It’s all gravy! It took five minutes of my precious class time after book check out which, in my opinion, is well worth it.  It was also nice to tell them that for my link in our gratitude chain, I wrote “I’m thankful for my students.” I hope it made them feel good.

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For this project you need:

  • scissors or a paper cutter
  • construction paper
  • tape
  • markers

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First, I used a paper cutter to cut the construction paper about 2-3″ by 9″ (short ways if using standard 9″ x 12″ construction paper.  I put stacks out for students to choose from along with a little container of markers. I had another empty container for them to place their strip when they were done.

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I later taped the ends together by weaving the links in a circle around the last one to form a chain. Keep adding to your chain as long as you’d like and hang up with either tape or pushpins.

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This is just from one day. I think we’ll make our way all the way around the library at this rate! Happy month of gratitude, friends!

our week at a glance. {november 3 – 9}

I’ve been nursing a cold this weekend. The kind of cold that leaves food tasteless and makes you think you’re never going to be able to breathe out of your nose again. I’ve been pretty pitiful about it too. I rarely get sick, so I lounged around limply asking mike to give me sympathy. But I’m ready to take this week on after a weekend of early to bed and early to rise days. Laundry is done, clothes are laid out, floors are swept, the coffee is waiting to be made and my kids are probably going to wake up at 4am (again) thanks to daylight savings.

One day in and the time change has been so upsetting to me already. I looked up at the clock tonight and realized it was nearly pitch black outside at 5:30. “This is what time you get get home!” I said to Mike in horror. So long after dinner walks. So long evening yard romps and driveway play. It was also a so long to happy baby Ben as he was up at 5, skipped his afternoon nap and was ready for bed at 5, I mean 6 (yes, totally one of those people who say the real time for like two weeks after the time change).

The weather says that this week will be cooler than the 90 degree temperatures of the last few weeks. So maybe this is the time to slow down, cozy up, light candles at night and sleep under the covers with the windows cracked. Nights of cards on the porch with the twinkle lights on and hot chocolate before bed. This is the start of the season where we’re so heart-burstingly happy to live in Florida. Light sweaters are needed but no need for coats. The best. I’m hopeful. Very hopeful. Too hopeful.

Anyway, my week has a few extras this week. Literacy night one evening at school and our faculty meeting another day. This means I’m keeping things simple at home. Easy meals with lots of leftovers for lunches and two nights of leftovers for dinner. I’m going to try to stay on top of laundry, work out, drink water, start planning for the holidays, and do a few other little things to keep life in order.

What does your week have in store?

little things this week.

1. these strewn about costumes…

{for still being loved even after the holiday has passed.}

2. this box…

{for providing more entertainment than the gift inside. keep it simple and all that.}

3. this pint sized table…

{and the newly minted 2 year old who sits there.}

4. this dinner made by a little boy for his brother…

{because his sweet spirit warms up my heart.}

5. this perky bloom…

{and the husband who brought it home after working late. ah, romance and somehow having been lucky enough to catch a good one.}

in other news:

breakfast potatoes on saturday (a weekly tradition), church on sunday (a weekly choice), and grocery shopping (a necessity) somewhere in between there are the only things planned for our weekend. crossing my fingers for deep cleaning and long naps, but those aren’t promised. what are you all up to this weekend? whatever it is, i hope you at least kick your feet up for a bit and enjoy it.

love, em

happy halloween.

It’s been a very happy Halloween for our little family after an epic, breath holding, arched back tantrum and refusal of costume this morning. There was excitement in the air at school today with spidermen, witches, princesses and sugar highs liberally scattered around each classroom. All that was missing was a crisp breeze and fall leaves on this very steamy Florida day.  A picture of falling snow from my brother made the pang for a Midwestern Halloween a little sharper, but I decided to be grateful for the coat-less romp along the street. We had chili (a tradition – no matter the weather), threw on costumes (Buzz & Woody), and made our way down our block to gather candy and hold out bags, prompting Charlie to say “trick or treat”. The boys were in bed at very nearly the same time as always, and then we trekked outside to the driveway with our Adirondacks, basket of candy and jack-o-lanterns to sip on spiked cider and hand out candy to the rest of the world.

It’s hard to believe that October has come and gone, and we’re on to November – the month of pie, gratitude, and cranberry everything. A whole year to wait for October to come again.

hi there.

It’s been nearly 8 months since my second child (a boy) was born and life has been so gosh darn good to us lately. The holidays are en route, were feeling fairly settled in our new home (almost two months later and we only have a handful of boxes left), Charlie just turned two, Ben is crawling, sleeping (through! the! night!), he’s eating, laughing & rarely crying. And, oh yeah, the school year is in full, chaotic, messy swing.

I’ve been pondering the idea of routine lately and what part it plays in my life. What things and events do I choose to include in my every day? And what things are just purposeless filler for the empty spaces that pop up. I want this spot to be an intentional part of my routine. This check in of saying hi. Sharing what’s new with my family – how we’ve been seeking joy lately, what we’ve been cooking, making, baking, celebrating, doing. How we’ve been making our home and, perhaps most importantly, memory keeping for years down the line when I know I’ll be happy to have everything here in a neat little package. All those things currently live in a vault on my phone called “photos”. It can all be laid out here in a scroll-able, readable, date-stamped format which I love. I want to use this space as a digital journal, scrapbook, cookbook, and mindful reflection and guide for each season of life. I think it could become so good for me, you guys.

I feel like I’ve started and not finished this post innumerable times over the last few months, so I’m finally here now. I’m making time for this little piece of my routine. Today and many suns to come, I’m here saying Hi. Hello. How are you?