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Archive for the ‘home decor’ Category

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, y’all.  But as always, compensated or not, my opinions are my own.

I don’t buy many things for me or for my home.  Losing everything when my house burned down forced me into a minimalism that I’ve found hard to shake.  But as we move closer to buying the house we’ve been renting for almost six years now, I find myself wanting to add a few touches that reflect my own taste and personality.

I hate going shopping and buy almost everything online–and so I’m excited to have learned about Uncommon Goods, a company that can supply all my decorating needs.  I am slightly crazy about candles, for example.  My first purchase is going to be one of their Literary Candles.  I also love the Homesick Candles (although there isn’t one for Tennessee yet!).  And I think the various tea light troughs would look great on my mantel.  Actually, I love almost everything in this section and if you like decorating with candles you will too.

 

Now let’s talk about their collection of decorations for the garden.  It’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I love gardening!  My eventual plan for this yard is to go full on cottage garden with no grass in sight.  So I will be needing more garden art in the future and now I know where I can find some unusual conversation pieces.  I’m especially captivated by the sea serpent and the octopus, and the gnome be gone tickled my fancy as well.

 

 

 

Finally let me say a little about decorative accents for the home, of which Uncommon Goods has pages and pages (and of which my actual home has very few).  Here I found myself captivated by the various bookends and fanciful switchplates.  The choices really are uncommon, and you can tell just by looking that they are well made.

 

 

Which brings me to an interesting point–who makes the products we choose to spend our money on?  Uncommon Goods products don’t come from big factories or giant corporations but rather from artisans and small business owners.  In many case you can click to read more about the actual person who crafted the item you are bringing into your home.  Uncommon Goods really is an uncommon company with values that are incorporated into its business model.   The company strives to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible.  They offer health insurance to all full-time (and most part-time) team members and provide a fair wage.  They  feature products that contain recycled components and sell only products that do no harm to people or animals. They give back by allowing customers to select a non-profit organization to receive a $1 donation at checkout.  You can read more about the company and its mission here.

I feel really good about recommending Uncommon Goods to you, and I am excited about purchasing some of their products in the future.

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So, y’all, I am WAY behind in my reviews for US Family Guide (I am always behind).  I received this product in December in exchange for my honest review.

Here is the company’s description of their unique nightlights:  3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will love having these in their rooms and they’re also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man’s cave or office!

So, I was pretty excited about this because I requested the Darth Vader light, and John has kind of a thing about Darth Vader.  He already has a 2.5 foot high model that talks standing on his desk.  So this seemed like it would be a great addition.

But then it arrived and we were just kind of underwhelmed.  To be honest, I don’t think I really understood this product completely before I saw it in person.  You are supposed to attach it to the wall and it comes with a transparent sticker to look like it’s bursting through and the wall is cracking.  Which might be cool in a kid’s room but we really didn’t want to do that.  And the mask is asymmetrical because it is supposed to look like it’s only partway through the wall I guess, but since we are not using the sticker it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  It does have light up red eyes but it doesn’t talk to you in Darth Vader’s voice or anything if you are into that sort of thing.

So I guess what I am saying is that there is nothing at all WRONG with this product.  It’s just that we did not like it as much as we were expecting to.  And keep in mind that there are many other options and they may be more appealing to you.  You can check them out right here.

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Growing up, I spent every Friday night at my grandparents’ home, only a few blocks away from my own.  And we were often in and out of their house during the week as well.  Like as not, when I walked in, I’d find my grandfather sitting in the living room in his favorite chair.

My grandfather wasn’t what you’d call a smiley man.  His resting face was grim.  But he’d beam when I entered the room.  “Hi, Granddaughter!” he’d say.

Always I remember him in that chair, his ash tray stand to one side, the table with the reading lamp and the clock with the numbers that flipped on the other, his feet propped on the ottoman while he watched the nightly national news, or Lawrence Welk, or his soap operas, or as he read Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report.

Sometimes I’d watch t.v. too, with him cautioning me not to sit too close to the big cabinet television with the record player in one end of it. “You won’t be able to have children when you grow up,” he’d warn me.  Sometimes we’d play checkers on the ottoman.

Granddaddy died on September 24, 1980.  It was my first encounter with death.  I remember entering the house for the first time and dreading the sight of that empty chair.

Granddaddy's Chair 2

When my grandmother decided to relocate to a retirement community, my mother moved into the house, and the furniture Mima couldn’t take was given away.  My little sister got the chair.  I took the Naugahyde recliner from the basement (which I believe was the predecessor of the chair I’m writing about).  It didn’t last long–my kids have always been hard on furniture.

I love old things and I love family things, and over time I had filled my house with items from my grandparents’ house.  I was the one who took that cabinet t.v., even though it didn’t work anymore.  I had the oil pastel portraits of my grandmother and great-grandmother, the Seth Thomas clock that used to hang in the living room, and so many other treasures that I took because I appreciated them and had room for them.  When our house burned down almost five years ago, I lost it all.  And felt guilty for being such a poor steward of family heirlooms and memories.

We’ve lived for five years in a house furnished by the love of friends and family.  We’ve even added a few heirlooms from John’s grandmother’s house.  Over time, the furniture has become ours, safe and familiar.

My sister moved at Christmastime.  She decided she didn’t have room for Granddaddy’s chair and she asked me if I wanted it.  She knew how much it would mean to me to have it.  It found a new home in our family room.

I had visions of spending time sitting in it, but honestly it isn’t a very comfortable chair, at least not for me.  Emily sits in it sometimes, but more often than not it’s inhabited by cats.  Still, it makes me happy whenever I see it.

 

Graddaddy's Chair 1

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Rosalie 1

Y’all, isn’t that just beautiful?  The verse comes from one of my favorite passages in the Gospels, the one that ends: “Neither be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”

Isn’t that a message we could all use right about now?  How would you like to have this beautiful watercolor print to remind you of God’s constant love and care?

Well, maybe you can because this is a giveaway! But first, let me tell you a little about the artist.

A former atheist turned Catholic, Rosalie Contrite now strives to live for the Lord and spread His love. She works from home, blogs and podcasts professionally, and homeschools her children.  She sells the print above and many more via her Etsy shop, Contrite Catholic Shop.  You can also visit Rosalie on her website and on Facebook.  I know her via a Catholic Bloggers Group of which we both are members.

Her work is just beautiful.  In exchange for hosting this giveaway and promoting her shop, I will be receiving a print of my own and I had a terrible time deciding which one to get.  This is a picture of the one I chose:

Rosalie 2

Now’s your chance!  You can enter by visiting the link below:

Rosalie Contrite Print Giveaway

The giveaway will end on Sunday, July 24 at midnight.  U.S. entries only, please.  I will contact the winner to get mailing info and Rosalie will ship the print directly.  Thank you for entering!

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This is a pretty random list of favorite things that are on my mind this morning, so that I can link up with Mama Knows, Honeychild!

five favorites

 

1.  This popcorn popper

So we have lots of people in this house who are popcorn-crazy (also just crazy, but we won’t post about that) as you could tell if you came to see me because of all the popcorn in the couch cushions (and everywhere else too if we don’t clean up before you come).  And so we had been buying and eating lots of microwave popcorn, which as we all know is one of the unhealthiest things in the whole world.  Then I found a stove-top crank-operated popper we inherited from Grandma, but that thing was labor intensive, and heating oil on the stove to high temperatures is always a little scary.  And it was a pain to clean, so it was always sitting around in the way because I could re-use it without taking it apart and washing it but I couldn’t put it away like that!  Plus I was afraid to let the kids use it, so anytime anyone wanted popcorn (all the time) it was all on me.  So I looked on Amazon, ordered this, and my life was changed.  It requires no oil, and the little kids have already learned to use it themselves.  And old-fashioned popcorn is cheaper, so there’s that.

Which leads me to another favorite . . .

2.  These popcorn bowls

photo credit: sharsuniquefinds via ebay

Now, I would never in a million years have bought these, as darling as they are, because I don’t believe in buying single-use things that then have to be stashed away somewhere taking up valuable space and like as not getting ignored in favor of something more convenient most of the time.  But these came with the house–the prior renters left them, unused and still in the box, in the garage.  And we have a cabinet right over the stove that is too high and inconvenient to store things we want to use all the time in, but still accessible enough to get to.  So we use these every day, and the big one conveniently fits right under the opening of the air popper, and holds exactly the amount that 1/2 cup of kernels pops into.

Of course we put real butter on our popcorn, which leads me to another favorite . . .

3.  My butter dish

butter dish

I like to leave my butter sitting out on the counter.  Before you start worrying that it will spoil, please understand that between cinnamon toast, popcorn, and using it for cooking, we use about a stick each day.  And hard butter won’t spread, which is such a nuisance.  So I used to just leave it sitting out on a small plate.  But the cat would lick it whenever he got a chance.  I’ve seen the other things he’s had in his mouth, so there was no salvaging that butter!  Now the lid keeps the butter safe.

4.  My new coffee cup

red coffee cup

Emily bought this for me at Wal-Mart the other day, just to be nice.  That’s enough of a reason for me to like it, but I also like the way it looks sitting on the counter waiting for the next cup of coffee.  It makes me happy.

And now I am seeing that this post really does have a theme after all, so I will add one final favorite . . .

5.  My red kitchen

food tomatoes

You can read more about it and see more pictures here.

That’s it for this week!  Please visit the linkup for more favorites!

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I promised a while back I would post pictures of my new bedroom furniture once it was in place but then Christmas came and you know how that goes.  Anyway, the lighting in my room is not the best but you can get a decent idea in the pictures below:

ImageImageImageImage

There’s a cedar chest at the foot of the bed that matches as well, and there’s another chair.  That’s not the bed that goes with it–that one is a double bed and too small for us–but the one from the set we have harmonizes well enough, don’t you think?

And yes, once the old stuff was out I was okay, and I’m used to it, and I still get that good feeling when I walk into my room. 🙂

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Embracing Change

I don’t like change.  I never have liked change, and anyone who knows me well knows this about me.  Now I would assume that it would be hard on ANYONE to lose every single personal possession to fire, to have to move into a new house with all new things in it, but it’s got to be even worse for a person who is resistant to change, right?

For a long time I felt kind of like a stranger in my own home, like I was just staying in a really nice hotel.

But my bedroom was different.  It quickly began to feel like home, safe, a sanctuary.  The furniture we were given for that room is nice furniture–French Provincial in style, like the bedroom set I grew up with (gone in the fire because it had been passed down to Emily), but made, I think, of walnut.  Someone gave me a bedspread that was just like one of Mima’s that I had.  I put out Mima’s afghans that had come back to me.  I filled the room with books.

Most of the furniture we lost in the fire was antique or at least vintage, most of it acquired from my friend Antoinette’s store, Myrtle’s Mess.  It exactly suited our Victorian house, and it suited my taste as well.  We had pieces from many eras, and I grew to love the Art Deco style.  We had a cabinet radio, two bureaus, and a wardrobe for this era.  They were scattered about the house but I cherished a vision of the future when these pieces would be united in one room and maybe I would get more of them.  My Granny had the waterfall style pieces in her bedroom, which may have been one reason I felt drawn to this style.

Now, John’s grandmother had an absolutely gorgeous bedroom set.  Below are pictures I took of it right after her funeral.  You can just ignore that person who appears in the mirror. 😉

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1036

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I had coveted that furniture for YEARS, and Grandma knew it, too.  She had told me directly that I could have it when she was gone.

And last weekend was the unexpectedly early moving day.

Problem was, when I took the above pictures, I had JUST FOUND OUT (like, less than 24 hours before) that my house had been burned to the ground, that I had nothing and that I was homeless.  Whereas, now, I’ve been living in this house, in my sanctuary bedroom, for over a year.  And whenever I started thinking about the new furniture coming, I started feeling strange, almost panicky, like I even might start to cry.  And yet I knew I loved and had always wanted the furniture, and that moreover ours is the only suitable room for it in the house.

I understand what was going on with me psychologically, that the resident furniture was a comfort to me in a traumatic time and that was why it was so hard to let go of.  But those feelings definitely added to the stress of last weekend, as did memories awakened by the cleaning out of the garage (the subject of my next post, probably).

But I did it.  I embraced change, and in a day or so I will have pictures of my newly-decorated room to share.

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