Saturday, April 22, 2017

World Market Wall Art Under $100





World Market Wall Art Under $100



Blue Crush Gold III by Elinor Luna by World Market

Blue Crush Gold III by Elinor Luna by World Market
-This eye-catching abstract painting by Elinor Luna infuses shades of blue and gold to create a serene scene. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forwall decor,wall hanging,artwork,art,wall art,home decor,decor,hanging decor,decorative,accessories,painting,canvas,canvas print,art print,giclée print,giclee print,abstract art,ocean art,abstract landscape,abstract oceanscape. By Cost Plus World Market.



Journal by Harrison Ripley by World Market

Journal by Harrison Ripley by World Market
-A flower in soft shades of pink and mauve blooms against green leaves and purple buds in this dreamy watercolor floral painting by artist Harrison Ripley. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forhome decor,decorative accessories,wall decor,hanging decor,art,wall art,painting,canvas,art,artwork. By Cost Plus World Market.


Black and White I by Elinor Luna by World Market

Black and White I by Elinor Luna by World Market
-Black, white, gray and amber brush strokes comprise Elinor Luna's moody abstract painting printed on gallery wrapped canvas. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forhome decor,decorative accessories,wall decor,hanging decor,art,wall art,painting,canvas,art,artwork. By Cost Plus World Market.


Dark Horse Eyes by Lisa Dearing with Frame: Black/Brown/White/Natural - Large by World Market

Dark Horse Eyes by Lisa Dearing with Frame: Black/Brown/White/Natural - Large by World Market
-Specializing in horses, fine art photographer Lisa Dearing seeks to capture the enduring traditions and heritage of the American West and the effect of the modern era. This equine portrait comes ready to hang bordered with white matting and a black frame. Material: , Color:Black; Brown; White; Natural. Also could be used forhome decor,decorative accessories,wall decor,hanging decor,wall art,artwork,art,painting,picture,framed print,photography,photograph,photo art,framed photo,framed picture. By Cost Plus World Market.


Isle Inlet Panel by Nan by World Market

Isle Inlet Panel by Nan by World Market
-Artist Nan depicts an abstract ocean scene with cool blue hues in this piece that's perfectly sized to hang over the sofa. Material: , Color:. Also could be used forwall decor,wall hanging,artwork,art,wall art,home decor,decor,hanging decor,decorative,accessories,painting,canvas,canvas print,art print,giclée print,giclee print,abstract art,ocean art,abstract landscape,abstract oceanscape. By Cost Plus World Market.





Friday, April 21, 2017

House of Order Part 2: De-cluttering

Three Piles that Leave the House

Every house should have three piles:

1. Throw away: This is for the things that no longer are useful to you and will not be useful to anyone else.

2. Donate: This is for the things that you no longer want or need, but someone else might benefit from.

3. Sell: This is for the things that still have plenty of value and when it sells, you can replace it with something of more importance to you.

Let it Sit


A suggestion I was given long ago was to put things in these categories and let them sit overnight. If you still feel good about getting rid of the things you have divided, then move forward without hesitation.

What if I Hesitate?


If you do feel hesitant, ask yourself, "Do I need this or am I just emotionally attached to it?" If you still need it, find a place that makes sense for the thing so it is not cluttering your home when it is not needed. If you are emotionally attached to it, consider taking a photo of it. Having the photo can help you still have something to attach the good memory to without having the object take up needed space in your home.

Clutter Offenders

Take special care to watch clutter in high traffic areas like the entry/exit ways. Shoes, coats and bags are already filling this area full, so extra papers or objects are just going to get super overwhelming quickly. 

Desk Area. If you have kids you have a steady stream of school papers coming in and out of your house. I have a file folder for Jane and a friend of mine said that she has a box for each child and has taught them to put all their papers in their box and she goes through them periodically. I have yet to try this, but it sounds great. 

Clothes. Clothes are an easy clutter offender. Designate a place where everyone knows where to put the clothes, clean and dirty. Also, periodically check to see if there are clothes that have met their lifespan and need to be put into one of the three piles. 

Mail. Like school papers, this is a daily occurrence usually, so have a plan. When I walk out to my mailbox I look and decide immediately which mail is important enough to bring in and which mail is worthy of the trash right away. If you do bring the mail in, make sure there is a place for it that is not right where you want to use the space all the time, like the middle of your kitchen counter or on the sofa. 

Food. Grocery shopping is awesome until you have to put all the groceries away that you just spent the last hour buying and moving in and out of carts and cars. The best thing to do before you go for a large grocery run is to clean out your fridge. I don't mean you have to wash it all out, but get rid of leftovers that are moldy and clean out plasticware that is only half-full. This makes it so much easier when you need space to put groceries away. Clearing countertops and pantries is also really helpful since you will need most of the space to get things organized and put away.

Seasonal items. This one gets me every time the seasons change. If it is the middle of the summer and you have winter coats piled up near your door, you need to make a place for the winter items to store until it is time to use them again. If it is the middle of winter and you keep picking up a random flip flop, it is time to make a tote for summer shoes until you need them. You get the idea. If you are not using something daily, it needs a place other than right in your face driving you crazy. 

A Quick Assessment

1. Have you thrown out, donated or sold something in the last six months? 


If no, it's time! Make your piles and de-clutter.

2. Do you have piles of clutter all around your house?


If yes, find your offenders (mail, papers, clothes, food, seasonal items) and find a place for everything.

3. Do you have piles of mail on your desk? 


Don't even bring the junk mail into the house. If it is important, make a designated place for it and sort through it at least weekly.

4. Do you have piles of clothes on the floor or on your dresser?


If yes, clothes only have three places it should be, in a hamper to be washed, in your drawers or hanging in closet, clean or on your body. 

5. Do you have a hard time finding things when you need them?


Everything you use should have a place, even the stuff you only use twice a year. 

6. Do you have a lot of things stored that are not useful, but you are attached to?


If yes, take a picture. Get rid of the item and store the memory in your heart. Allow yourself one tote of your favorite memories if you must, but don't hold onto more than that. 

7. Do you buy things without being sure what you will use it for?


If yes, remember to be very particular about what comes into your home. Consider your space a holy place that only houses the most important and practical items in your life. Only make purchases that have a clear purpose to either beautify or simplify your life. 
_________________________________________________________________________________


Ok, so now it is time to make an improvement, one step at a time. I have times that I am doing really well at this and other times I really have to buckle down because the clutter is starting to suffocate everyone. Be kind to yourself, but you can get better at this!

I hope this is helpful and most of all I hope that you home is more peaceful and inviting to you and your family as you simplify your life. Most of us have more than enough stuff and not enough connection, peace and joy. I think many of us would be surprised how little we really need to be happy. 

Best, 
Lucy 







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What's up?

Easter Egg Hunting 6 yrs old

1 yr old

2 yrs old
I have been busy writing posts about specific topics, but I just want to fill you in on our family too.

Cody has been traveling A LOT. I heartily dislike when we are a part. We have decided that one or two days can actually be healthy, but after that, we just are annoyed that we can't be together. I also hate having to take care of the homestead by myself. There is a lot of pressure already and then to know that I am on my own makes it super difficult sometimes. Cody is doing really well at work though. He has been a key player in the research, development and implementation of a new product. As I look back on when Cody got this job to where he is now, I am so impressed with his progress and improvement. We are lucky to have Cody as our provider.

Jane is on the tail end of Kindergarten. She continues to surprise me everyday. I think the oldest children tend to do that. She is very social still and loves her friends. She is reading and progressing in all the rest of the subjects. I have been pleased with her school thankfully. I recently went on a field trip with Jane to see a play at the Performing Arts Center. We both enjoyed it and I loved to see her in her school element. She is going to take swim lessons this summer and I am eager to see what interests she decides to pursue next year. We have decided to allow her one extra-circular activity. She plays with her sisters well most of the time, but she certainly has days she stomps to her room to be alone. I am so thankful for her help and her desire to keep her sisters safe and happy.

Maurie is 2. I, honestly, am struggling with her behavior and I am paying close attention to how I can help her. She is saying prayers at mealtimes and before bed. They are so sweet and always include all the members of her family. She loves to play with Jane and they always play like one is the mother and one is the daughter. They wrestle and they play like they are trying to save the other from "dying". =) We have had a few warm days and they spent as much time outside as they could. I am looking forward to summer for that reason. Maurie is misses her dad very much when he goes and she seems to be the most effected by his absence out of the girls. Whenever she hears the door or the sound of keys she says, "Daddy!" I love that they have a close relationship. Maurie has super long hair and I know that she is due for a trim. She has inherited my hair that tangles way too easily and I hate to brush it. I love her long hair, but I don't know how much longer I can handle trying to comb it. Maurie's favorite TV show is Daniel Tiger.

Brooklyn is starting to really get vocal. She is so smart! She responds with head nods and is running now. She blows us all away. She doesn't like TV and never watches; she loves to get in on the action with her older sisters and still likes to drink a bottle. She eats well most of the time, but won't eat cheese. She likes bath time and likes consistency in bedtimes and nap times. She still naps twice a day, but I don't know how much longer I will be able to do it. It will be hard to let go of the morning nap for me. Brooklyn has a head full of brown curly hair and is into everything right now. I have absolutely loved watching her discover the outdoors. She loves to be outside and her big blue eyes are wide open as she walks around and touches and eats everything. She is so sweet and gives us kisses with mouth wide open. She continues to be a ray of sunshine in our family. I am so thankful for her, especially on my hard days.

I am fairly well. My mental and emotional state has been precarious and it has taken a toll on the whole family. I visit a therapist regularly, and I learn so much. I am obsessed right now with interior design. I am finding that I dive in to my interests quickly and then burn out quickly. I am working on slowing down and really deciding what it is that I am trying to accomplish. I have awesome friends here that have been amazing supports to me and my family. I am working on being a better person one day at a time.

We are looking forward to attending the temple next weekend, finishing our basement project and enjoying more bike rides, hikes and park days. We have a few small vacations planned for the summer.

I hope you and yours are doing well!

Best,

Lucy

Friday, April 14, 2017

72 Hour Kit: While There is Still Plenty

I have been feeling like I should have 72 hour kits ready for my family for many, many months now. I do not think that anything is going to happen anytime soon, but I know it is the right thing to do. It is so hard to spend time, money and energy on something that doesn't feel like it will be important right away, but when you need something, you need it, right? Many of you probably already have 72 hour kits. My sister has hers done along with water, food storage and anything else that she has felt impressed to have. She says having a plan has helped her children to feel confident and unafraid.

I am motivated by the idea of calmly taking care of my children in an emergency situation. I am already an anxious person, so I do not need more reason to freak out when I need to be caring for my family.

So, what do I need for these backpacks? This is a list of basic items I want to have. I have kept the list skimpy compared to some people and I don't go into specifics in each item because I get overwhelmed with lists like that, so I thought maybe you would too. I need to start by just gathering the basics anyways and then I can add more over time.

1. I need to buy backpacks for everyone. I have considered using duffle bags that I got free through my husband's work, but they will not be as easy to carry. With three little children, I want to be able to carry the stuff on my back and potentially carry a baby in my arms. Duffles would not work for us, but if you already have bags around the house that will work well to storage and portability, then save yourself some money.

2. I need to gather clothes for everyone. This one is tricky. Kids grow so dang fast. I will put in durable, comfortable clothes since that is what I will want to be wearing on the go.

3. I need to get food and water for each person. This is also tricky. My sister has MREs in her packs and they opened some of them as a family for family night just so there would be no major surprises when they used them later. I like that idea. I buy water bottles nearly every time I go to the store, so I will put some of those in the backpacks.

4. A hand-powered radio and flashlight. I like the idea of being able to be connected somehow to the rest of the world if something happens. The radios available now are pretty sweet...they include a flashlight, a phone charger and other handy things.

5. Personal documents and extra keys. I need to make sure everything is gathered into one place even just for reference anytime, but especially for when we need to leave quickly.

6. Cash and coins. I have no idea what the circumstances are going to be like when I need to use the kit, but this seems very practical, even if it doesn't last in the long run.

7. Portable water filter. We have the Sawyer Water Filter and the Life Straw.

8. Medical kit. Remember this needs to include the needs of all your family members. For example, I need to have Maurie's Epipen ready since she has severe allergies.

9. Kitchen tools. Wouldn't it be annoying to have a delicious can of fruit and no can opener. This category needs some attention to detail because eating comfortably could make a big difference in an emergency situation.

10. Shelter and Blankets. Think tent, sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. We bought small down blankets for each girl's backpack. We have yet to buy a easy to set up tent, but it is a priority.

11. Sanitation and hygiene items. Again, think of all the scenarios and what you would need to be comfortable, clean and safe.

12. Entertainment for all ages in our family. I have read that this is especially important for the children. They will be able to cope with the change better with some familiar activities and be distracted from the event.

13. Pencil and paper, needle and thread, map of area and whistle. There are lots of cases where these items will be important.

Again, I have kept the list short, but I hope as you look at this you may find some gaps in your kit or just be reminded to check your existing supplies to make sure everything is ready to go.

Do you have a emergency kit? If you do, how did you go about getting it all together?

Here's to a more prepared life!

Best,
Lucy Bowman




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ideas for a House of Order: Tidy and Functional


This morning it took me a full hour to do my dishes. Just to give you idea, I had to do the dishes in stages: fill dishwasher, wash Tupperware from the fridge, pots and pans and then everything else. I am really done doing dishes until...lunch. =) As I finished up the dishes, I know the best way to tackle dishes is after each meal, but it is so hard sometimes to keep up. I am re-committing today to do what I know will be easier in the long-run.

I have talked with my siblings lately about things that they deal with as they try to improve their home life and find better ways run their household. One the things that was a common denominator in their comments was trying to have a super functional space. Since then I have been thinking about what works and doesn't work for me at my house. Below I outline one way what I feel keeps my home tidy and functional.

The Entry and Exit

You might think that elves sneak things into your house in the night, but you, my friend, are the culprit. You have to decide what comes in and out of your house. Now, if you have young children, I totally understand. The rock, the stick, the worm or the "borrowed" toy really does sneak into the house sometimes, but if your entry and exit strategy is working, you will be aware of these things entering 95% of the time. The most organized people have an entry area that accommodates most of what comes into the house; think locker area or mud room. I don't have either, but I do have places for everything that comes in. These places are out of sight and keep the floors clear of clutter. You may have noticed that a couple of things on the floor suddenly give the whole family unspoken permission to leave things out. I am guilty! I am especially bad about this with my clothes in my room. I know that if I get lazy about putting my clothes away, it gets out of control really, really quick; this is how it works in any room usually. So, taking the time to put a few things away when you walk in the door will save you a lot of work later because your family will feel more accountable for keeping the spaces clean.

Make a Place for Common Daily Items

 Most of you have mail, flyers, purses, wallets, keys, grocery bags, or diaper bags. The list can go on, but this will jog your memory a bit and help you think about where each of these common, everyday items can go every time you walk in the door. Keep little fingers or paws in mind as you decide where to put things too.  Your entryways are also the first place that your guests see when they come in, so make it a clutter-free area with concealed storage areas. Your entry area might be hidden from the front entry, but you want to keep your entry area organized for function even if no one sees it. Some tricks to help you have a place for things is hooks, drawers and trays that keep things wrangled in a specific spot and still look nice. I love this Wood Garner Storage Cabinet from World Market. Look at all the places you could store things. Add some hooks above or beside and you have a super functional entry area. A vase of flowers, a lamp, some books and a favorite collectible and you make a big impression on your guests and a warm welcome for you every time you come into the door.


Shop Home Furniture for Everyone on Your List at WorldMarket.com.

Everything Else Goes to the Filtering Place: Junk Drawer Reimagined

Every house has a junk drawer; if it isn't a drawer, it is a basket, a closet, or in bad cases, a room. I am not convincing you to get rid of it, I am encouraging you to have a junk drawer that we will now call the "filtering" place. Traditional junk drawers always have the same junk in it and it just keeps growing. I am suggesting that you have a drawer that stores things only until you can put them in their place. Nothing is too random that it can't find a place. I know you may argue with me, but I can guarantee that if it is not in the garbage, donation or sell category, it needs a place. 

Now that those common items are put away, your hands may still be filled with something that doesn't have an immediate place. These items need to go into your filtering area. If you have time to deal with the items in this area right away, do it. If your kids are whining about being hungry and you have to get everyone fed before a soccer practice, then leave it there. This filtering area should not be something that is a focal point in the room. Keep it concealed from others, but don't make the area too big because then you will forget about it and let it pile up way too high. Tip: If the living room gets cluttered, I have my little ones take everything and put it on the sofa. Once everything is off the ground, we all help put everything away. The sofa acts as a filtering area for our mini-decluttering session. It is just a way of gathering and then dividing and conquering.

These baskets from World Market are an example of easy filtering areas that are portable, big enough and conceal the items in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Shop World Market

Empty Everyday or at Least Often!

Everyday you need to address the filter area. Your daughter brought a toy out to the van and you brought it in; later put it in the toy box. A friend left their water bottle at your house; put it in your purse so you can drop it off when you go out next. You didn't have time to put your athletic gear away last night, now you have time to put it away. Remember that this putting everything in its place from the filter area should not be just one person's job. Everyone should help to keep the area relatively empty. If the filter area becomes the "Mom, put this away for me" pile, you need to set some specific ground rules for the area with your family. Now, will this system work even if you only put away once or twice a week, yes! Depending on the size of your filtering area, you could go quite awhile. You will find a groove for how often it needs to be done. My desk area seems to get away from me often, but I can't go longer than two weeks before I can't find anything on it. You will know your limits and once you do, try to do it before it gets to that point. =)

Application:

To get really organized write down what things you consistently walk in and out with each day. Once you have those written down, check to make sure there is a place for those things. After that, create a filter area that you are comfortable with. An example at my house: I have three little girls who don't like to keep there clothes on. The second level of our three level home always seems to be scattered with clothes, so I have created a basket where the clothes go on the staircase so that when someone is walking up the stairs, they can take the clothes with them. We also have a laundry shoot on the first and second levels, so that makes it really nice for getting dirty clothes in the right place. Maybe at your house it is legos or puzzles. Whatever is driving you crazy, create a filtering place and a system that keeps it manageable for you and your family.

Another scenario is knick knacks that accumulate in the kitchen...a nail here, a small toy there. One of the best ways to wrangle the junk in is to have decorative baskets or bowls available to put those things in until you can put them away in the proper place. Again, create a filter place that is attractive to look at and can hold your stuff until you can get to it. I have three decorative bowls in a green color I love and there is always stuff rotating through them and in the meantime the bowls add color and beauty to the room.

Check out this mudroom. There are baskets, drawers, hooks, shelves, a cork board and it even looks light and beautiful to boot. This is the goal, my friends...function and beauty. Keep in mind though that all the photos you see are very deliberately styled and likely rarely look like this. Cut yourself a little slack and give yourself a high five if there is not stuff on the ground everywhere.



Now it is your turn to start being the boss of your stuff. Next post I will be addressing decluttering or cleansing, whatever you want to call. it. What systems help you keep your stuff from overtaking your spaces? Share in the comments!

Happy organizing and decorating!

Best,
Lucy

Friday, April 7, 2017

Planning for Spring

Planning for Spring
Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
I hope spring is coming or already arrived where you are. I opened my front door yesterday and loved to see the light pour in and feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I love spring and Easter because it is a time of new beginnings, even more so for me than the beginning of the year. It takes a long time for spring to get here in Wisconsin, but once it does, the greens and colors of the season are so beautiful. 
I am looking forward to my girls being able to play outside. I have lots of plans for gardening and decorating my deck and porch. I am also looking forward to finishing many other home projects. Like I said, I seem to wake up as the Earth wakes up.

Here are a few links to things that I want to buy for the season. I want some seating for our deck, lights to put on the tree house and planters for some herbs and flowers. 
  
Also, Michaels has a great discount on their spring florals and greenery. I have used it to decorate my mantel. Do you see my pig? I love pigs! 



What projects do you have lined up for this time of warm weather and growth? What makes it feel like spring for you?

Best,
Lucy 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Kid-Friendly Music and Movies that I Love

So, Disney has been blowing me away lately. I have been singing songs from Moana and Beauty and the Beast a lot! Jane has been singing with me and it is so fun. I have wonderful memories of singing songs from Disney movies from my youth.

Moana: We were able to see this in the theater and we own it now. This movie is so special. Not only is the music superb, but the hero's journey that Moana goes on is so meaningful and easy to relate to, even if I am not an islander. =)

Beauty and the Beast: This movie surprised me. I was expecting it to not meet my expectations, but it was really well done. I am a fan of Emma Watson, so I was hopeful. What truly blew me away was the quality of the music and the songs included that were not in the original animated version of the movie. It was worth the price of a ticket and we plan to own this one when it releases

I feel like we are starting to appreciate a musical more and more these days and I am not disappointed. Music is so powerful and I love the songs that I can enjoy with my little children.

I have included links to the soundtracks and the movies below.





© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.