5 Friday Finds: Easy Decor Updates, What I’m Reading and Listening To

1. New pillow covers. 

Adding a new pillow cover is one of my favorite easy ways of changing the look of a room. I treated myself to two new covers, both from Amazon, of all places: the Aztec patterned pillow ($3.59) on the blue chair, and the buffalo checked pillow ($6.98)on the couch. I like the way the black and white balances the pink, gold, and navy pillows, and mixes in the farmhouse and modern look. 

2. New bedroom lamps.

Here’s how my mind works – I want to upgrade the lamps in one room, so I end up changing all the lamps in all the bedrooms. Here’s how this happened: after years using the guest room as a place to put all the mismatched stuff that I didn’t want to get rid of, I decided to at least upgrade the lamps.

See the “before:”

To do that, I bought a lampshade that was actually the right size for the big brass lamp that belonged to Brian’s great-grandmother, and I spray painted the tiny lamp and took it to work, along with the one that matched it from Brian’s side of the bed (here’s the blog post on that, with photos of how they turned out).

Then I moved my light blue lamp, a freebie from someone who was moving, to the guest room, where it actually is the perfect color of blue. Here’s the “after:”

That left our master bedroom lamp-less – so after months of searching, I decided on these lamps from Target. I love the white and gold, and of course, the marble. And I like that now our lamps are both matching – for the first time in our married lives. New marriage level: unlocked!

3. Books I’m reading.

On my nightstand right now: This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving Where You Live. I heard of this book on the Happy Hour podcast, and it sounded fascinating. After almost 7 years of living in Arizona, it feels like we’re still scratching the surface of what’s here. I’m about halfway through, and I started a long list of ideas for “loving my town” experiments.
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst. This is the kind of book you have to read slowly, to really take it all in. It’s very convicting, challenging, and encouraging. 
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. This is our current book club pick, and it’s been such a long time since I’d read it, I’d forgotten just how GOOD it is! I’ve cried at least twice, and laughed a few times, and I’m maybe slightly over halfway through, and thoroughly enjoying it.

4. Whole 30.

If you’re not familiar with the Whole 30 Challenge, it’s a challenge to only eat fruit, vegetables, and meat basically for 30 days. Read all about it on their website. This is the second one we’ve done, and sometimes the Whole 30 feels like one of those things that isn’t fun at the time, but then when you back on it, you say, “That was great, let’s do it again!” Kind of like camping. Or a rollercoaster. 
But there are some things about the Whole 30 I’m loving this time around – mainly made possible by Trader Joe’s. Sweet Potato ribbons, butter nut squash noodles, pre-cooked chicken and pork, tons of dried fruit, vegetables, and nutrition bars – it makes getting dinner on the table after getting home from work a hundred times easier. And it all tastes good.
I’m also loving cooking, to an extent. And that is, as long as it’s easy and Edison isn’t clinging to my legs, crying. That’s when it’s definitely NOT fun!

5. “Thy Will” song by Hillary Scott.

If you haven’t heard this song on the radio yet, you might want to grab a tissue. The music and the lyrics are truly beautiful. I’ve listened to it often enough that the song will get stuck in my head, and then it will be a reminder to me throughout my day at work when I start to worry, or try to control situations – not my will, but His. I’ve been clinging to this reminder the last couple weeks, as more restructuring at work was announced, leaving me with lots of unknowns. I hope it speaks to you too!

Those are some things I’m loving – now it’s your turn! Tell me what you’re into at the moment in the comments below.

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Life Lately: Spring Is In The Air

It’s beginning to look a lot like springtime – the weather has fluctuated from the upper 80’s back down to 60’s, and back up again. We’ve had storms and rain, which means puddles!

Edison is practically a little fish – the bath tub is his happy place! He amazes us each week with the new words he tackles and just how much he understands!

My grandparents drove across the country for a visit! We sent them home with several bags of our oranges.

Grandma came to visit! We celebrated Brian’s birthday, cheered on Brian and my sister-in-law when they ran a half-marathon, and Brian and I got to go on TWO child-free dates in one week! Edison and Sirius loved walks to the park every day.
Lent started on March 1st, and with it, we began our second Whole 30 challenge. 
I’m doing a Lent Bible study also, and as part of it, I’m supposed to practice the “Sabbath,” or day of rest, once a week.  This is harder for me than giving up added sugar, grains, dairy, etc. and also giving up sleeping with my phone – all challenges I’ve undertaken. I don’t even know where to start with “resting.” There’s just so much to do! Being “still” feels impossible. 
But when I took that photo of the (clean side of the) kitchen, complete with Edison’s art on the chalkboard, it invokes “still” to me – trusting the Holy Spirit to work in me, as I go about everyday life, and wait for him. 
Coming down with a sinus and ear infection is definitely enforcing the “rest” aspect now –  but I’m hopeful that I don’t have to make myself sick every time before I learn to rest. Maybe this Lent study will help me grow in this area. 
Easter is coming! 🙂 What does your life look like lately?

How to DIY a Rose Gold Anthropologie Hurricane

I first saw these rose gold metal hurricanes in Anthropologie around Mother’s Day last year, and Brian bought me the tiniest one for a Mother’s Day gift. The largest ones cost $52, but they’re currently sold out.
If you, like me, can’t spend $52 on such an item and missed your opportunity to get it, this post is for you. Well, if you’re willing to put in the work to make it. But since you’re reading this post, I’m going to take that as a yes.
You’ll need: 

 This is what I started with: a $20 light fixture from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. I bought this originally for the insides of the light fixture, to DIY my own light fixture for the dining room, but I was able to put the glass to good use!

Step 1: Take out the innards. Brian helped me with this, because I was initially having a hard time figuring out how it came apart. When it’s done, you’ll have this: 
Set aside the light fixture innards for your future project. 
Then, Cover all the exterior glass with painters’ tape, like so. It’s tedious, but very important to get the glass well covered, with a good edge along the metal. It will save you a lot of time on the clean up!
After your glass is taped, Use a scrap of cardboard to block off the inside. You’ll have to cut it just a little larger than the opening, and fit it inside just below the rim. I neglected to do this, which as you’ll see, was not a good idea. I highly recommend learning from my mistake!

Put on a coat of spray paint primer. This will help the paint adhere to the metal. Notice in the photo above, the top of the glass is not covered. I didn’t realize how much spray paint would actually get inside, and guess what – it’s A LOT. So make sure you do cover the opening.

Also a tip I learned from watching DIY videos on YouTube – spray painting inside a cardboard box helps keep the paint contained, and protects what you’re painting from wind and dust.

Follow up with a coat or two of copper spray paint.

Once it’s dry to the touch, start carefully peeling off your painters tape. The sooner you remove the tape, the easier it will be to have a good clean edge. This step is super satisfying!

Clean off any paint on the glass with a scraper. This step took the longest for me, because I had to scrape down the entire inside of the thing, due to not blocking off the opening. 
The paint came off with the tape in a couple places, so that’s what you need the additional bottle of metallic paint for – just touch up areas that need it. 
Add candles, moss, stones, lights, succulents, flowers, or whatever suits you, and place it somewhere it can be admired by all. 
I’d guess this cost me $12 in paint, if I wasn’t using paint I already had, and $10 for the light fixture, since I’m using half of it for another project.
The tiny hurricane is the one I bought from Anthro, and I think the two of them together look like they were always meant to be!